As the number of positive COVID-19 cases in San Joaquin County continues to trend downward and school districts begin to take steps towards reopening for in-person instruction, local communities are doing their part to make identifying people that are sick even easier.
This weekend both the cities of Manteca and Lathrop will host free drive-thru testing for adults through a program operated by the Army Corps Civil Support Teams and the county – an option that is available to anybody 18 years of age or older with valid identification and contact information for test results.
No appointments are needed for the service, but testing will only be available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
The drive-thru testing will be available in Manteca on Saturday, Sept. 26, from noon to 6 p.m. at the city-owned Qualex Building – located at 555 Industrial Park Drive – and in Lathrop on Sunday, Sept. 27, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Lathrop Community Center located at 15557 5th Street.
The testing is another step for local health officials to help identify those that may currently being infected so that they can be isolated – making it easier for people who have had a hard time securing a test during the period of the pandemic.
“In addition to wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing, the easiest thing residents can do to help ease the COVID-19 restrictions is to get tested,” said San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park in a release announcing the free testing sites. “We need people who have been to recent gatherings or not showing symptoms to take advantage of the testing.”
Those that can’t make either of those two scheduled stops will have a chance on Monday, Sept. 28, in Stockton at Franklin High School, located at 4600 E. Fremont Street, from 12 to 6 p.m.
Unlike other free testing that has been provided in San Joaquin County in the past, those not showing any symptoms related to COVID-19 and those with mild symptoms are encouraged to come get tested – part of an effort to identify those with the virus before heavy symptoms present themselves.
Those with serious symptoms are being asked not to attend this round of community testing and instead contact their healthcare provider so that appropriate measures can be taken to protect those administering the tests.
In the last two weeks, San Joaquin County has gone from 12.6 positive cases per 100,000 residents per day and a positive rate of 9.1 percent down to 9.5 cases per 100,000 residents per day and a positive rate of 7.1 percent – a marked improvement over the numbers in August which were nearly 10-times as high.
As a result of the reduction in infections and the possible step down on the statewide color-coded system as a result, school districts throughout San Joaquin County are taking steps to prepare for a potential return to school in the near future.
Currently San Joaquin County has not granted waivers to districts that have requested them, but if trends continue over the course of the next two weeks it may be possible for schools to reopen under the state’s guidelines. The San Joaquin County Department of Public Health issued information about how to apply for a reopening waver for lower elementary grades back in August but have not yet granted any of the waivers requests that have been submitted.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.