Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian last month unveiled three pending COVID-19 testing sites in Mountain View for county residents.
According to Simitian, plans are in the works for:
• Testing led by and in partnership with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Mountain View. Simitian said “there’s every reason to believe” Planned Parenthood will get its site up and running this week.
“The folks at Planned Parenthood already have experience testing their own patients locally, and they’ve been operating testing sites for the broader community in other parts of the state,” he said. “That experience will serve us well here in Santa Clara County.”
• Testing led by and in partnership with El Camino Health, which includes El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Simitian said his office has been working with the leadership at El Camino Health, including CEO Dan Woods, to forge a partnership. The effort got a boost last month when the El Camino Healthcare District Board authorized an expenditure of up to $1 million to be devoted to communitywide testing for district residents, Simitian added.
“We are pleased to be able to do our part and help fund testing efforts within our district,” said Gary Kalbach, El Camino Healthcare District Board chairman. “The board was united in supporting this pressing health-care need and making tests more widely available.”
• Testing offered directly by the county using a mobile testing van, beginning in and returning to Mountain View. The mobile testing van, operated by the county’s Valley Medical Center, deployed two weeks ago, making its first visit to the Mountain View Community Center on Memorial Day.
“The city of Mountain View in particular deserves a shout-out for helping with locations and logistics, which are indispensable to the success of these efforts,” Simitian said.
Ramping up testing
Simitian said the county is “finally getting some traction” on testing.
“It’s not yet as much as I’d like to see, and it’s certainly not as fast as I’d like to see, but it’s progress,” he said. “You can’t fight the virus if you can’t see it, and you can’t see if you don’t do the testing.”
Simitian noted that a stepped-up testing program is important for a number of resons, including:
• To find those who are infected with COVID-19 whether symptomatic or without any symptoms.
• To protect co-workers and family who might be at higher risk if infected by the virus.
• To keep the community safer, allowing for more confidence in making any changes in the current order and charting a path back to normal.
• To provide a tool for businesses, nonprofit groups and schools to keep themselves safe when operations resume.
• To enable friends and families to safely reconnect.
Simitian said it has been frustrating to see existing testing capacity underused, a fact he attributes to a lack of clarity about who can access available sites and how.
“We need to make it easy for people who need or simply want to get tested to find a place they can go – quickly and conveniently,” he said. “And we need to communicate that information in a fashion that is clear, crisp and consistent.”
For more information on county testing sites, visit sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/covid19-testing.aspx.