The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Testing for coronavirus expanded to Riverside County residents without symptoms
Drive up testing scheduled for Blythe area
April 17, 2020
BLYTHE, CA – Riverside County residents who do not have symptoms but want to be tested for coronavirus will now be able to after health officials modified the guidelines for testing. Meanwhile, a fifth Riverside County community testing site has been established in Blythe for residents who want to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, located at the Blythe Fairgrounds (591 N. Olive Lake Blvd.), will open on Wednesday (April 22) and operate for four days.
Those who want to be tested must call 800-945-6171 for an appointment. Drive-ups without appointments cannot be accommodated.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said the modification of the testing criteria will allow anyone who wants to be tested the opportunity to see whether they have the illness. Officials have said expanded testing – for those with and without symptoms -- will give health experts a better idea of the extent of the illness in Riverside County.
About 30,000 tests have been administered so far at the county’s four community test sites, clinics, hospitals and other locations.
“We’re testing people already when they’re sick, but we need to understand how COVID-19 is affecting people who may generally feel well, including kids,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for the County of Riverside. “That’s going to be a key indicator for understanding how it spreads and knowing where our areas of concern are when we think about if and how much to open things again.”
The Blythe site is the fifth location for testing in Riverside County. Testing sites are also located at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio (Tuesdays through Saturdays), at The Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore (Sundays through Thursdays), the parking lot at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside (Tuesdays through Saturdays) and the Perris Fairgrounds (Tuesdays through Saturdays).
“This is great news that we will have a community testing site in Blythe. I want to thank Riverside County Public Health for bringing this much-needed resource to the Blythe area, and also thank Palo Verde Hospital which has been providing testing,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “Testing, especially with the expanded criteria, will give us a better picture of the situation.”
The Indio, Lake Elsinore and Riverside locations have been in operation for weeks and the Perris location opened on Tuesday (April 14), resulting in thousands of residents receiving help.
As of April 16, Riverside County health officials confirmed 2,105 cases of COVID-19 and 54 residents died from the virus. More than 400 county residents have recovered from COVID-19 and more than 29,000 residents have been tested.
Those who want to be tested must call 800-945-6171 and specify which location is preferable.
Appointments for the Lake Elsinore site can also be made online by going to www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.
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