MENDOCINO Co., 7/20/20 — Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC), which serves clients from Westport to Elk and inland to Comptche, doubled its COVID testing capacity on Sunday July 19 in response to outbreaks at local businesses in Mendocino County.
According to the press release from the MCC, the clinics expanded their testing operation at the request of Mendocino County Public Health. Officials and spokespeople from both organizations praised the partnership and quick response to the local outbreaks. In total, MCC tested 186 people on Sunday. The tests were sent to Richmond, CA, and results will be in within 72 hours.
If you believe that you have the virus and are a resident of the coast, you can call (707) 964-1251 to be screened and then tested. If you don’t have symptoms but want to get tested, you can also call the same number to be put on the waitlist for a free test.
Here is the press release with more details:
MCC PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 20, 2020
Lucresha Renteria, Executive Director
[email protected] | (707) 964-1251
Mendocino Coast Clinics Provides Outbreak Testing
Fort Bragg, CA – In response to an urgent request from Mendocino County Public Health to help limit the spread of COVID-19 after outbreaks at local businesses, on Sunday, July 19, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) doubled its planned COVID-19 testing operation, spending six hours hosting a first-come, first-served clinic that tested 186 people.
Mendocino County Assistant Director with Health and Human Services Bekkie Emery thanked MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria for “such an amazing partnership” allowing the two organizations to better safeguard local community members.
For MCC to shift gears so quickly required all hands on deck, according to Renteria. Initially, MCC had planned to offer surveillance testing for up to 150 people at a local church. Surveillance testing focuses on individuals with no coronavirus symptoms to monitor whether there is widespread community infection. Infected people without symptoms who have contact with a many members of the public—such as those who work at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels—can unknowingly spread the virus, so it is important they be checked. However, when Public Health announced that four Mendocino County businesses reported employees with positive tests, MCC shifted to outbreak testing.
Renteria said, “We got the request from Public Health on Saturday and the additional test kits on Sunday morning. Then we spent all day testing people, many of whom had been in contact with people from the businesses where the outbreaks occurred, like the dental office and the skilled nursing facility, along with the parishioners from the church. By 6:30 pm that evening, we’d sent all the data to Ukiah to be shipped to the Richmond lab.” Tests will be processed at Public Health Laboratory in Richmond, California, and results are within 72 hours. Anyone who tests positive will be called by Public Health and MCC staff will contact those who test negative.
The shift to outbreak testing required different paperwork and different tests, but MCC employees rallied to make it happen and community members seemed to appreciate it.
Renteria said, “I’d like to give a shout out to our community members who came to get tested. They respected our six-foot spacing indicators, and everyone was in masks. At one point, the line stretched around the corner, and still, people were patient and respectful.”
Mendocino Coast Clinics will continue to provide free surveillance testing through the end of August, thanks to the agreement that Mendocino County has with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and its grant-funded BioHub Lab. Testing at MCC is generally done twice a week by appointment. To be placed on the waitlist, people can call (707) 707-964-1251. The testing is open to all residents of the coast; there is no requirement to be an established patient at MCC and the test remains free of charge.
MCC is a non-profit, federally qualified health center providing medical, dental and behavioral health care to residents from Westport to Elk and inland to Comptche in Mendocino County for more than 25 years. Visit www.mendocinocoastclinics.org for more information.