Testing to begin in Calexico, second community site on its way

CALEXICO — A community testing site for COVID-19 will open Monday at the Calexico Community Center, 707 Dool Ave.

Imperial County Public Health Department spokeswoman Andrea Bowers said the site will actually be the OptumServe testing facility previously set up at the County Fairgrounds in Imperial.

The site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of the lunch hour. There is no cost for testing at the OptumServe site.  Bowers said testing is available for those with or without insurance, and for individuals with or without symptoms.

County officials are currently working with the California Department of Public Health to secure a second testing site for Imperial County, she said.

Public Health Director Janette Angulo was definitive when addressing the El Centro City Council Friday that the second site will be coming. She said the site will be established in Imperial, either at the fairgrounds or somewhere nearby. It will provide the county the capacity to provide an additional 132 tests daily for COVID-19.

Currently, appointments for local testing through OptumServe are about a week out, Angulo said.

An inquiry why the original test site was being relocated rather than simply setting up the new facility in Calexico once it arrives received the following explanation from Bowers: “The purpose of relocating the site is to ensure convenient access for residents throughout the County.”

All costs for the testing site are being covered by the state of California, Bowers said.

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, commended the County of Imperial and other local leaders who made the additional testing site possible. He also highly encouraged community members to use the newly available local resources to be tested.

“I am grateful for our collective Imperial Valley leadership and especially the County for their dedicated and rapid response to the emerging concerns in our region. Being tested is a critical component of our community’s recovery process and our ability to curb the spread of COVID-19. I highly encourage everyone to do their part by being tested as well as continuing to practice personal safety measures,” Garcia said.

Residents can schedule an appointment by calling (888) 634-1123 or online by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting.

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