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Santa Clara County Continues to See Alarming Increases in COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations; Fairgrounds Facility Gets Additional Expansion Due to High Demand; COVID-19 Testing Facilities on Holiday Schedule Next Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2020

Fairgrounds and City-based Sites Include a Free Flu Test

Santa Clara County, CA - Santa Clara County continues to see an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The seven-day average of new cases is the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic and continues to rise. Another deeply concerning indicator is the steep rise in hospitalizations throughout the county. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increased by 50 percent in one week, from 110 on November 12th to 166 on November 19th, 2020. If COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase at this rate, then hospitals in our county could exceed capacity in three weeks.

Due to increasing demand, the mass COVID-19 testing facility at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds will be expanded to accommodate 3,000 appointments a day starting next week and 5,000 by mid-December -- twice the current capacity.

Appointments are essential for reserving a testing slot – while a limited number of tests have been administered in the past on a walk-in basis, the continuing rise in popularity means those who arrive without an appointment may not be accommodated.

Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing Officer for the County of Santa Clara, said that testing should not be considered a means to clear people for unsafe activities, such as holiday group gatherings or travel.

“A negative result does not mean someone has a pass to put themselves and others at risk,” Fenstersheib said. “People who test negative can still be carriers of the virus but be in an early stage of infection. It’s critically important that you not travel during this time of heightened COVID-19 risk.” The County also urges residents to refrain from gathering with anyone outside their household. The State of California permits limited outdoor gatherings with a maximum of three households, masks, and physical distancing. If you choose to gather, please do so outside and maintain social distance, concluding any such gatherings before 10pm under the new limited stay at home order that goes into effect this Saturday.

Holiday Schedule: Free COVID-19 testing facilities will be on a holiday schedule next week. All County-run testing sites will be closed for the Thanksgiving Day; Appointments will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

While pop-up sites in San Jose and Gilroy will not be in operation on Thanksgiving and Friday, both have additional Monday hours.

Flu testing is being conducted simultaneously with COVID-19 testing at city-based sites and the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Next week, appointment-only COVID-19 testing will be conducted at sites in Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, and Santa Clara. Appointments can be made starting seven days in advance of the testing date until all slots are reserved at www.sccfreetest.org. Appointment-based testing is also available in San José at the Fairgrounds, with appointments now available five days in advance. Testing is free at all these sites.

APPOINTMENT-BASED TESTING SITES — Influenza test is included. Make an appointment by visiting www.sccfreetest.org and clicking on “Schedule an Appointment Today”

Text message results are available at appointment-based County of Santa Clara testing facilities.

San José

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Parking Lot A (across from the blue arch) - Drive-through, bike, and walk-up appointments

Across the street from the Fairgrounds main entrance, 344 Tully Road, San José, CA 95111

Appointments Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, Nov. 24, 25 and 27, 11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 and 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunnyvale

Murphy Park, 260 N. Sunnyvale Ave., Sunnyvale, 94086

By appointment only for Monday, Nov. 23, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill Council Chamber Building, 17555 Peak Ave., Morgan Hill, 95037

By appointment only for Tuesday, Nov. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Santa Clara

Santa Clara Central Park Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, 95051

By appointment only for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

POP-UP TESTING SITES – No appointments needed and only for people without symptoms. Influenza test is NOT included.

San José

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 N. White Road, San Jose, 95127

Monday to Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road, San Jose, 95122

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gilroy

South County Annex (formerly Del Buono Elementary) – 9300 Wren Avenue, Gilroy, 95020

Monday to Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The County test sites provide COVID-19 tests free of charge, regardless of immigration status, and no doctor’s note is needed. At some County test sites, people with insurance may be asked to provide their insurance information, so that payment from the insurance company can be collected. However, patients won’t be billed for any co-pay, deductible, or any other cost for testing.   Those without health insurance or those who do not provide insurance information can still get a test at those sites.

For people without COVID-19 symptoms, the County currently offers indoor and drive-through sites. People with symptoms are directed to drive-through sites to reduce the chance of getting others sick.

The County of Santa Clara continues to remind those with healthcare coverage that systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Sutter/Palo Alto Medical Foundation and others are required by County order to offer free testing to symptomatic persons, persons who have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, and all “essential workers.” Examples of “essential workers” include teachers, healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and persons who work in agriculture or food manufacturing. For more information on testing rights, see our Frequently Asked Questions page. The County also collects and publishes data on testing by large healthcare systems:   https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard-testing.aspx#hstesting.

County test sites and additional sites operated by other organizations are mapped on the County’s website at www.sccfreetest.org. The site is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Tagalog. Information is also available by calling 2-1-1.

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Last updated: 11/23/2020 4:34 PM