Editor’s note: The Mendocino Voice’s reporting, including our coronavirus coverage, is all free. We believe in providing useful info to our entire community, have no paywalls and depend on our members. Consider supporting our coverage by becoming a member; you can also make a one time contribution. We rely on these generous members to be able to keep informing everyone. Find our most recent coverage here.
MENDOCINO Co., 10/27/20 — Mendocino County has offered free COVID-19 testing at the OptumServe testing facility located at the Ukiah Fairgrounds, but there have also been ongoing surveillance testing conducted by public health around the county to address specific outbreaks and to facilitate testing of essential workers. There is now a dedicated county webpage to help residents connect with free testing opportunities around the county.
Unfortunately, this week also saw the cancellation of the contract the County had with the UC San Francisco medical school (UCSF). That contract had enabled clinics like the Anderson Valley Health Center and many others to offer free testing. The university is cancelling the program effective as of Oct. 31, and that’s true county wide. About 700 free tests per week were coming out of this program, so this news is something of a blow to local surveillance testing efforts. The tests had been used for clinics and by the county for outbreak testing.
Mendocino County remains in the state’s highest and most restrictive tier of COVID-19 requirements due to ongoing high case rates and testing averages, and public health officials remain concerned about how colder weather and flu season will impact rates of spread. Since early in the pandemic, Mendocino County Public Health has partnered with local health centers and community organizations to offer additional free testing opportunities to residents who may not be able to visit the OptumServe facility in Ukiah, which previously were largely announced via social media and media announcements, but are now listed on this county website.
Appointments at the OptumServe in Ukiah can be made here, and the complete list of public testing locations can be found at this county testing webpage. If you have private insurance, a personal physician or are a patient at a local community health clinic, you can also contact your medical provider to see if they have testing available. Here’s the county’s COVID-19 information website, with current guidance and resources, and you can also call the Mendocino County COVID hotline at 707.234.6052 or email [email protected].
COVID TESTING INFO: Testing is open to the public at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. Call 888.634.1123 for an appointment or go to lhi.care. You can also call the Mendocino County COVID hotline at 707.234.6052 and the County’s “warm line” at 707.472.2311.