Mayor Libby Schaaf announced the opening of a new COVID-19 test site at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center for direct service providers, such as healthcare workers, grocery store employees, homeless outreach workers, and many other groups who work directly with the public.
The new center will have the capacity to test 240 people each day. The site is the second drive-thru facility in Oakland. The first location opened to first responders and city employees two weeks ago and quickly expanded to offer tests to first responders in neighboring cities.
“We must take care of those who take care of us,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “By offering tests to our everyday working heroes, we are keeping them healthy while trying to stay ahead of the surge that will soon impact our healthcare system. I am grateful to all those who continue to donate to our Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund and all our partners who have helped make this site possible.”
The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center drive-thru site will serve those who work in the following areas:
- Healthcare providers, including all those who work in a hospital, clinic or community health center
- Grocery stores and food banks
- Homeless service providers, including shelter and outreach workers
- Funeral home providers
- Childcare facilities
- Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children
The City of Oakland has contacted organizations in each sector with instructions on how to enroll and schedule workers for testing. If an organization operates within one of the listed areas and has not yet made arrangements for testing, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Members of the public should not arrive at the site without a referral and confirmed appointment.
The City of Oakland funded the site with the assistance of donations from the Hellman Fund and Blue Shield to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund, launched by Mayor Schaaf and philanthropic partners on March 20.
“We couldn’t be more honored to partner with the City of Oakland in providing this essential service to our community’s brave and most vulnerable service members and citizens,” said Kelly Robison, CEO of Brown & Toland physicians. “We strongly encourage all who are symptomatic to contact a physician to be assessed and if needed, referred for testing.”
“Increasing testing in Alameda County gives us a clearer picture of the spread of COVID-19 and informs our strategic response to this pandemic. We look forward to working with Oakland and our other cities and partners to ensure testing procedures and reporting of results to persons tested, primary care providers and public health meet the high standards we need to ensure appropriate public health interventions can be taken to best serve our community,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Alameda County Health Officer.
“We are pleased to partner with the City of Oakland to facilitate the opening of this new site. Without more extensive testing, we cannot respond appropriately to the pandemic,” said Jane Garica, CEO of La Clinica. “We are anxious and determined to understand where the hot spots are and identify countermeasures that are working. Keeping our direct service providers is a key and top priority.”
The site is scheduled to open on Monday at noon and operate Mondays through Saturdays.