By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– In response to a recent statewide shortage in COVID-19 testing materials, San Bernardino County has contracted with a new supplier, Fulgent Genetics, to secure an adequate supply of test equipment and is now encouraging all County residents to get tested.
“All County residents who want to get this virus under control, see our numbers improve, and allow our businesses to reopen should get tested,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “Now that our testing capacity has expanded and stabilized, we hope that every resident, regardless of whether they have experienced any symptoms, will make an appointment to get tested.”
“Testing is free, painless, takes only a few minutes, and can be obtained without a doctor’s prescription,” Hagman said.
Testing with an appointment is now offered at 10 locations using an easy-to-administer nasal self-swab. Results can also be expected in no more than five days, but usually within 72 hours and sometimes within 48 hours or even sooner. There is no cost to take the test. Those with medical insurance will be asked to provide insurance information when setting an appointment to help the County recoup some of the costs associated with testing.
The County has established testing sites in Fontana, Hesperia, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino and Victorville, as well as Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. Tests and other services are also provided to underserved and vulnerable populations at County Health Centers in Adelanto, Hesperia, Ontario and San Bernardino.
In addition, COVID-19 testing is being conducted at various state-run testing sites, as well as sites operated by private clinics, certain Rite-Aid Pharmacy locations, and HMO-operated facilities. State sites and private clinics may be using providers other than Fulgent Genetics, and testing methods vary at these other locations.
To schedule an appointment at a County, state or private clinic location, visit https://sbcovid19.com/testing-sites/.
About Fulgent Genetics
The County’s new supplier is Fulgent Genetics, a Southern California-based genetics testing company that provides diagnostic testing for improved patient care. The company’s COVID-19 polymersace chain reaction (PCR) tests involve a relatively short nasal swab, which most patients consider much less uncomfortable than the longer “nasopharyngeal swabs” commonly used earlier during the pandemic. Fulgent collaborates with Healthvana, a HIPAA-secure information portal, to provide test results.
Benefits of widespread testing
Public health experts believe that many of the people who carry the coronavirus are asymptomatic carriers. As a result, hundreds of thousands of infected people could unintentionally spread the virus to others.
“Increasing the number of people tested is essential to lowering the infection rate, getting the County back to work, and allowing recently reopened businesses to stay open,” said County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. “Testing gives us a better idea of community spread and the scope of infections, and helps us concentrate medical resources where they are needed most. And working in concert with our contact tracing team, we can better stop the spread of the virus.”
Expanded testing and lowering our positivity rate will help San Bernardino County get off the state’s Monitoring List and allow more flexibility in our reopening efforts.
Residents that receive a negative test result should continue to take precaution.
“Regardless of test results, residents still need to avoid gathering with people outside their immediate household.” Porter said. “County residents should also continue social distancing, continue wearing a face covering whenever in public, and practice diligent handwashing. Expanding our testing is an essential step in our war against COVID, but we’ve already seen what can happen if we relax prematurely.”
To learn more about the County’s testing program, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, https://sbcovid19.com/testing-sites/#faqs.