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Golden Valley offers drive-thru testing for coronavirus
Service offered to GVHC patients who have symptoms
Covid testing
Healthcare workers at Golden Valley Health Center’s new office in Ceres are testing select patients for coronavirus in the parking lot. The service started on Tuesday. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Drive-up testing for the coronavirus is being offered for patients of Golden Valley Health Centers at the new office in Ceres.
According to Casie Cart, one of the center’s managers, about 20 to 30 patients have driven to the office at 3109 Whitmore Avenue to be tested. The service started on Tuesday.

GVHC brought in a portable cargo container office at the rear of the building staffed by healthcare workers fully protected with clear face masks and respiratory masks and coverings.

Patients are only being tested if they are showing the symptoms of Covid-19, which include shortness of breath, fever, sore throat and coughing; or if they know they’ve been exposed to the virus and have underlying risk factors like diabetes and heart disease. They’ll also be asked if they have traveled in from China, South Korea, Europe or Iran. Testing is also being offered to Golden Valley Health Center healthcare workers.

“There’s about five or six screening questions that are asked,” said Cart. “The patient stays in the car the entire time.”

A number of people are showing up at the three Golden Valley centers in Ceres with questions.

“We have had, in the past week or so, more patients that are suspicious and have been traveling,” said Cart. “We had one that came back from New York a few days ago and they came in for testing.”

The patients reported coughing and fever and were told to quarantine themselves because “New York is a hot zone right now.”

Cart said the test is done quickly by taking a swab up the nose and sinus cavity.

Patients are asked to first call the GVHC call center at (866) 682-4842. They’ll be asked the screening questions. If they have answered yes to the questions or are in an at-risk category they will receive an appointment.

“We are still seeing patients at our clinics. We have designated well clinics and sick clinics to keep the patients kind of from cross contaminating. At the well clinic we have medical assistants or nurses at the door to take people’s temperatures, ask questions. If they go to a sick clinic and providers fear they might have Covid then they might send them over for testing. We’re not testing in our offices, just in our parking lot.”

Golden Valley is also relying more heavily on telephonic visits to serve its patients.

As of Wednesday, March 26th, Stanislaus County has 17 confirmed positive cases of COVID‐19, no deaths, and 653 negative tests.

The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.