West Contra Costa COVID-19 mass testing event aims to slow spread

West Contra Costa COVID-19 mass testing event aims to slow spread
Photo: CDC

A mass COVID-19 testing event happening in San Pablo Saturday aims to slow the spread of the virus in hard-hit West County neighborhoods.

San Pablo has the highest number of per-capita COVID-19 cases adjusted for population size, while Richmond has about double the county average per capita and also the highest number of community deaths from the virus, county officials said.

And cases on the rise. On Friday, Contra Costa health officials are rolling back some reopening activities following a recent and significant uptick in COVID cases.

In response to the virus’ impact locally, a coalition of community organizations led by Contra Costa County United Latino Voices, Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and Contra Costa Health Services have organized a mass testing event.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the rear-parking lot at the West County Health Center at 13601 San Pablo Ave. in San Pablo.

Attendees can stop by outdoor stations where nurses and volunteers will provide no-cost COVID-19 tests and flu vaccination. Cloth masks and free groceries will also be provided for people who need them. Face coverings are required.

No appointment, insurance or payment is required and parking is available in an outdoor garage next to the testing site.

“West County’s Latinx community, particularly neighborhoods in San Pablo and Richmond, faces some of the highest rates of new COVID-19 infection and testing positivity rates in Contra Costa,” County officials said.

Gioia said a COVID test “is one of the best ways to protect ourselves and our community.

“We can move quickly to stop the virus if we know where it’s spreading,” Gioia said. “We can take care of people who are already infected. When we know, we can save more lives.”

Aside from Saturday’s event, no-cost testing is available to anyone who lives or works in West County every weekday through Contra Costa County’s community testing program. Call 1-844-421-0804 for an appointment, or schedule online at cchealth.org/coronavirus.