Oakland Expands Free Testing, Announces New Walk-up COVID-19 Testing in East Oakland
Oakland, CA– The City of Oakland announced Wednesday a partnership with Roots Community Health Center and the emergency relief nonprofit organization Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) to open a new COVID-19 community-based testing site (CBTS) in East Oakland this morning, May 6. This site will also use the Baseline COVID-19 Program platform by Verily, an Alphabet company, and will pilot its use for drop-in testing onsite. This site will be one of the first walk-in only sites in the Bay Area. Testing will be provided free of charge Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm. Health insurance is not required.
If you work outside the home or if you’re worried you have COVID-19, get a test. Testing is available and free regardless of insurance or immigration status. The City and partners encourage anyone who feels like they might have COVID-19 to get a test at this testing site or at the City’s other testing site at the Henry J Kaiser Convention Center, especially if you have symptoms, have underlying health conditions, or work in a healthcare facility or long-term care facility. This is an important step toward ensuring all Oaklanders have free and accessible testing with culturally competent care.
Appointments for persons who are not already patients of Roots can be made using Verily’s Baseline COVID-19 Program, available at www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19. Persons need only create an online account, schedule an appointment and bring their ID to their appointment. (Persons who already are patients of Roots or wish to register through Roots do not need an appointment or an email address, and an ID, while recommended, is not required). The Baseline COVID-19 Program is a secure connected solution to support individuals from screening through testing and receipt of their test results, which is done under physician direction. Residents can contact OAK311 with questions about testing at the Roots Community Health Center site or at the City’s other testing site at Henry J Kaiser Convention Center site.
Roots will provide free COVID-19 testing from 10am-4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9925 International Boulevard.
“Testing is critical to getting our arms around the COVID-19 pandemic and moving toward the outcomes Oaklanders need to see: containing the spread, making our communities safer and providing care to those who need it most,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “If anyone thinks they have been exposed or might have COVID-19, please don’t wait -- get tested as soon as possible, safely and at no charge.”
“East Oakland is disproportionately harmed by the impacts of COVID-19, and I want my community to know we see that harm and we are prioritizing East Oakland for testing locations,” said Vice Mayor Larry Reid, the councilmember who represents the East Oakland district in which Roots Community Clinic is located. “Services must be prioritized in communities feeling the most impact, and we’ll continue working to address the needs of this community.”
“Oakland sees huge disparities across race and class and what neighborhood you’re in, and it’s vital that we address those disparities in part by prioritizing COVID-19 testing in East Oakland,” said Councilmember Loren Taylor, who represents the neighboring East Oakland district. “I encourage all my East Oakland neighbors to consider getting tested to help us contain this pandemic here in our community and so we can better address its impacts together.”
"Roots intentionally rooted itself more than a decade ago in East Oakland in order to provide first-rate, culturally responsive health services to our community. Roots' staff possess the skills, knowledge, and compassion to help our community through the COVID Crisis,” noted Dr. Noha Aboelata, Roots CEO & Founder. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the City and to forge new collaborations with CORE and Verily to equitably meet the health needs of Oakland residents. Please, come by foot, by bike, by bus or by car for a free walk-up COVID-19 test, and feel free to make Roots your medical home if it is not already. We are of the community, by the community, working for the community, trusted in the community, and we are here to stay.”
“Every community should have access to COVID-19 testing – regardless of income level – and we are grateful to work in partnership with the City of Oakland and grassroot organizations such as Roots, under the leadership of the Governor’s Office to make that possible,” CORE Co-Founders Sean Penn and Ann Lee said.
The City of Oakland is working in partnership with Alameda County to bring on additional sites in East Oakland in the coming weeks and will announce more details as they are available.
“Establishing sufficient testing capacity throughout the county, particularly among communities experiencing high rates of COVID-19, is a cornerstone of our pandemic mitigation strategy,” said Alameda County Health Care Services Agency Director, Colleen Chawla. “We are deeply appreciative of this public private partnership and collaboration with the City of Oakland and Roots.”
COVID-19 cases are still rising, and we need to stay vigilant. As a community we must continue to stay home unless it’s for essential business, cover our faces when out in public, wash our hands often, stay 6 feet apart, and avoid group gatherings. Oakland, together we can #beatcovid19!