Over a 100 free COVID-19 testing available to residents in southwest Fresno

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — More than 100 free COVID-19 tests were available to residents in southwest Fresno Saturday morning.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health partnered with the Westside Church of God in Fresno to provide free testing and masks to the community.

Congressman Jim Costa, Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula, and Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias were at the event helping to educate residents about the coronavirus.

“This be my first time getting tested to see, make sure it’s to be on the safe side,” said a Fresno resident. 

At the free pop-up COVID-19 testing site, tests were available to anyone over the age of 10. Community members did not need to have symptoms, insurance, or appointments.

People were able to walk-up or drive-thru. 

“It’s an area that’s typically under-resourced, so we wanted to make sure that everyone has accessibility to get tested, especially as business begins to be reopened,” said Maria Lemus, district director for Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula. 

With a recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Fresno County, the county is not meeting the benchmark that requires all counties to stay below an 8% positive rate for all tests conducted to move forward in reopening.

“Overall throughout the county, we want to be able to do about 1,500 tests every day here in Fresno County for a population of about a million people, so we know we have some work to do,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, interim health officer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Right now, Vohra says Fresno County is only testing about a thousand people per day, which includes testing from all hospitals, doctor offices, Sanger, Fresno City College, and pop-up sites.

But, he says they are working with the state to get a third testing site.

“Until we get that third site permanently in place somewhere in this neighborhood, we will continue to come out here and offer to test,” Vohra said. 

Organizers say they will hold another free testing event at the Westside of Church of God on June 27.

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