By Adia White, Northern California Public Media
April 23, 2020
On Saturday, April 25, The Sonoma County Department of Health Services Disease Control Unit will begin testing health care workers with and without symptoms. The testing will be done in the parking lot of the Public Health Laboratory in Santa Rosa. Health care workers are encouraged to make an appointment in advance by calling (707) 565-4667.
According to County Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase, “Being able to test our health care workers is important to keep them safe as well as our community, and ensures our health care system can continue to function throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The County eventually plans to open up testing to first responders with symptoms, those over 65 with underlying health conditions with or without symptoms, and any community member with symptoms.
Sonoma County recently received a shipment of medical swabs that are needed to perform coronavirus tests. These swabs have been in shortage nationwide and have limited the county's testing capacity.
During a press conference on Wednesday, April 22, Dr. Mase said the County hopes to perform 200 tests a day at the public health lab. Dr. Mase is also working on forming partnerships with clinics throughout the county to further expand testing. Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that California would need to test 60,000 - 80,000 people daily in order to reopen the state. The state is currently testing around 16,000 people each day.