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Coronavirus testing now taking place in Manteca
virus test

Drive-thru testing for the COVID-19 virus is now taking place in Manteca for Golden Valley Health Center patients who are showing symptoms.

On Tuesday, the organization – which provides low-cost medical treatment to Central Valley residents and strives to provide medical care to disadvantaged communities – began the process of testing patients in the parking lot of the shuttered K-Mart on Northgate Drive across the street from where the organization operates brick-and-mortar clinics.

The testing is currently only available to Golden Valley Health Center patients. It requires an appointment and a referral but serves as an opportunity to test patients in a minimally-invasive way without jeopardizing the health of other patients or healthcare workers in their facilities.

According to Kulpreet Dhesi, the organization’s marketing manager, residents who are not yet patients but need medical care are encouraged to contact Golden Valley Health Services to begin the process of registering. Because of the high volume of patients currently seeking medical care, she said, the process may take a little bit of time – clinics are currently inundated with patients not just out of fear of COVID-19, but lingering illnesses from cold and flu season as well as environmental allergies that can present themselves in the same way.

The organization accepts all patients regardless of whether they have insurance or not and offers medical care on a sliding scale for patients who may have coverage but high deductibles and don’t have the income to be seen.

San Joaquin County currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any San Joaquin Valley county with 136 – significantly more that neighboring Stanislaus County, and more than all of its neighboring counties combined except for those in the Bay Area and Sacramento.

And it is proving to be deadlier in San Joaquin County than in some places with even higher numbers of cases. So far six people have died in San Joaquin County with the virus, while in Alameda County – which has more than double the number of cases – only seven people have died. Contra Costa County, which has significantly more cases than San Joaquin County, had only has three deaths as of Tuesday night.  

Drive-thru testing facilities have begun to be more commonplace as a way to protect healthcare workers and other patients in the event that a person is carrying the COVID-19 virus, and the results in some places have been staggering. Last week on the first day of drive-thru testing in Hayward, roughly one-third of all people who were tested came back positive for the virus.

Currently roughly 75 percent of the country is under a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the illness. Healthcare experts are pleading with residents to continue to practice social distancing and limit interactions with others so as to not overwhelm the healthcare system with cases that may require intensive hospitalization and mechanical ventilation.

For additional information about Golden Valley Health Centers, or to find out about how to sign-up as a patient, visit the organization’s website at www.gvhc.org.

Other Golden Valley Health Centers mobile testing sites are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the hours of the new Manteca site – which just opened this week – were not immediately available.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.