RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County public health officials announced Friday that all residents can now get tested for coronavirus, a shift from previous protocols that required patients be experiencing symptoms.
Expanding testing parameters is expected to yield valuable information about the coronavirus and its reach.
“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, the county’s public health officer. “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.”
Health officials also announced Friday that a fifth county-run coronavirus testing location will open up at the Blythe Fairgrounds next week.
The drive-up location at 591 N. Olive Lake Blvd. will open Wednesday and operate at least four days. Officials will then reassess whether demand for testing in the area necessitates keeping the site open past April 25, according to Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer.
The county’s fourth testing site opened on Tuesday at the Perris Fairgrounds. The location is being staffed Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The other sites are at the county Fairgrounds in Indio, The Diamond in Lake Elsinore and Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside.
Appointments to visit any of the sites must be made in advance at 800- 945-6171.
As of Friday afternoon, 29,571 people had been tested for the coronavirus in Riverside County.
An average of 2,200 people are being tested per day for the virus at the county-run facilities, Board of Supervisors Chairman Victor Manuel Perez said Wednesday.
To date, the county has documented 2,264 virus cases, 59 deaths and 472 recoveries.