In the early morning hours of June 24th, the parking lot at Quail Valley Middle School was bustling with San Bernardino County trucks, trailers, and over 40 staff from various County departments. Public health workers, social workers, librarians, you name it, all arrived to prepare for a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. In cases like this, everyone that works for the County is on call to help where needed. The day’s testing event was conducted by the San Bernardino Department of Health and hosted by Snowline JUSD.
Frank Becerra, the Supervising Health Educational Specialist, gathered each health station leader, all the assisting staff, and volunteers to talk through the planned process to ensure a clean, safe, organized environment for staff and those being tested. From paperwork and testing to disposal, the idea was to modify as they go along to make the process work cohesively, with the utmost safety and anticipating that they would need an area to help those in distress. Which is important because some folks coming in for testing may feel under the weather or stressed over the idea of the coronavirus. On this day, 154 county residents were scheduled for testing with additional walk-ins if time permitted. Many of them would be arriving shortly, starting at 10am.
Folks that made an appointment could receive two separate COVID-19 tests. The first being the nasal swab test in which results come back in 7-8 days, with either a positive or negative test result. And the second test a finger pinprick blood test, which tests for the antibodies which, if positive, means one has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and may develop COVID-19 in 1-3 weeks or never, but can pass it to others.
Becerra explained that testing is essential to stop the spread of the virus, and testing is now more readily available. However, as time goes by, there have been fewer community request sites like this one. For those that test positive, they should isolate themselves and seek medical attention from their primary doctor. According to the San Bernardino County Health Department website, 9% of the tests issued in the County are coming back positive.
The Snowline School District made this site available for testing and is more than willing to add additional test sites in the Tri-Community to help those that live and work in the community get the resources they need. A group of employees from Snowline Nutritional Services voluntarily took tests and were used for a practice run to give everyone an idea of how things should flow. They even stayed to help as volunteers. Safety, organization, and anonymity really made this event successful. Walks-ins became available for the nasal swab test because the Health Department sent 300 test kits, making it helpful for folks that had heard about this event last minute.