New COVID-19 testing hub opens in Richmond Wednesday

New COVID-19 testing hub opens in Richmond Wednesday
A COVID-19 testing site being set up at the corner of 25th Street and Nevin Avenue on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Photo: Mike Kinney)

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) will open its new community testing hub in a parking lot at Richmond’s Civic Center Plaza on Wednesday.

The new testing site, which has its entrance at the corner of 25th Street and Nevin Avenue, accepts appointments and walk-in patients. In September, drive-through service will be added, allowing the location to test as many as 400 people per day, CCHS said.

Testing is offered to anyone who lives or works in the county, regardless of insurance, ability to pay or whether they have symptoms or not. No up-front payment is needed for testing and patients do not need medical insurance or government-issued identification to get tested. Those with health insurance, however, will have their insurance billed.

The Civic Center site replaces a smaller testing location at Kennedy High that served residents over the summer. CCHS now operates nine free community testing sites, and the state runs another three in the county. Drive-through appointments continue to be available at the West County Health Center in San Pablo, and at a site near the corner of Second Street and Ruby Avenue in North Richmond, which offers no-appointment, walk-in testing Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

“The expansion of public testing service in West County coincides with an increase in laboratory testing capacity and improved turnaround time in Contra Costa, where many patients this summer waited two weeks or longer for their results due to a national shortage of reagents needed to process specimens,” according to CCHS. “The primary private laboratory contracted by Contra Costa to process tests was reporting a turnaround time of two to five days as of Monday. The county has also contracted with additional labs, which are now preparing to process county specimens, and its Public Health Laboratory this month received new equipment from the state allowing it to process hundreds more tests in-house daily. Turnaround times at the county’s in-house lab average two to three days.”

Calling 1-844-421-0804 (8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily) to book an appointment or visit to schedule online and for more information.