FRESNO, California (KGPE) — A Central Valley clinic is expanding its COVID-19 testing and it’s open to everyone.
United Health Centers has been offering COVID-19 testing at all 18 of its locations for months. But, now more of its locations are offering widespread drive-up testing.
To demonstrate how easy it is, Fresno councilman Mike Karbassi got himself tested at UHC’s northwest Fresno location at 6810 N. Milburn Ave. on Wednesday.
He called the clinic and about ten minutes later, went to park his car in one of the designated parking spots in front. He had some paperwork to fill out, then two workers swabbed him. In all, the process took about no more than a half hour.
Karbassi said a partnership between the city, county and UHC made this possible.
“[Fresno County Department of Public Health ] Director David Pomaville has been very helpful. As soon as I called him, he said, let’s get United Health Centers on board. Within just a few days, we were able to put this together,” Karbassi said.
Tests at UHC have a turnaround of about two-to-three days. While you could just show up, it’s recommended to set up an appointment. UHC takes most health insurances.
“We accept private insurance, Medi-Cal, Medicare, and for anyone uninsured there would be no cost for testing,” Justin Preas, deputy CEO of UHC, said.
Like most of the state, the Central Valley is lagging with testing. The region has a population of more than 2 million, but at this time county public health departments reporting nearly 23,000 tests have been processed.
While there are now seven state testing sites in the region now, clinics like UHC hope to continue to bridge the gap.
It’s why they’re now offering the drive-up service at its Selma location at 2705 S. Highland Ave. Selma city officials say while they’re appreciative for the state sites, like the one at Fresno City College — nothing beats having the accessibility in town.
“It’s really important to have this access for those who have already experienced displacement from their work. Also, those who are potentially at-risk for exposure to the virus,” said Tracy Tosta, a city economic development administrative analyst.
Unlike the Fresno site that is open to walk-ins, you have to schedule an appointment for the Selma location. To schedule an appointment at a UHC provider, you can call 1-800-492-4227.
UHC operates in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.