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Testing on Fridays open to anybody at old Kmart spot

Starting on Friday morning, anybody who wants to be tested for COVID-19 can do so from the comfort of their own vehicle.

After opening a drive-thru testing site on Northgate Drive earlier this month, Golden Valley Health Centers has officially relaxed the stipulation that only members of its plan can be tested at the mobile site across from its Manteca clinics.

Due to a decline in demand, the site – located in the parking lot of what used to be K-Mart – will only be open on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and those times are subject to change depending on the turnout at the facility.

While registration is required, it can be completed on-site prior to being tested as long as the patient brings a valid photo ID.

The subject of testing and the availability of tests has been a hotly-contested issue over the course of the last month as the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients have spiked across California as testing has become more prevalent.

Project Baseline, which is being managed by Google sister company Verily, began operating a drive-up testing location near the San Joaquin General Hospital earlier this month to help provide testing services to those who may not have access through their licensed healthcare professional. While the site was heralded as a breakthrough for local residents – particularly those without health insurance and the more vulnerable parts of our community – it did require a health screening to ensure that only those likely to have the virus are the ones that are getting tested.

According to the number provided by San Joaquin Public Health Services – which is providing data through a new graphical interface to make the information easier for people to find and follow – there are now 529 cases in San Joaquin County and 25 deaths. As of Tuesday at 5 p.m., there have be no new ICU admissions this week for COVID-19 while 52 been in intensive care as a result of contracting the virus. Only one new hospitalization was recorded this week to bring the total to 132, and of the nine confirmed outbreaks – where clusters of infections are isolated – only one has been determined this week.

According to the data provided by the county, Supervisor Tom Patti’s district – which includes Lathrop and portions of Manteca – has had the largest concentration of COVID-19 cases followed by that of outgoing Supervisor Bob Elliott whose area predominantly covers Tracy and portions of Manteca. The rural area that comprises District 4, which is currently overseen by retired CHP Commander and former Ripon Councilman Chuck Winn, has seen about half of the cases of other parts of San Joaquin County.

For additional information about the drive-up testing facility located at 255 Northgate Drive visit or call 1.866.682.4842.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.