Hammon Senior Center

A testing center has come to Patterson to offer COVID-19 testing to residents in the Westside.

The facility is stated to be able to manage up to 150 patients per day. Those interested in testing must first apply for an appointment by visiting online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 1-888-634-1123.

The testing is available Monday through Friday at the Hammon Senior Center located at 1033 W. Las Palmas Ave. The hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Special accommodations can be made if available. The service is a walk-in, not a drive-thru service.

The facility testing is run by OptumServe. OptumServe will handle the testing process and is responsible for reporting results to the county.

Testing is offered to anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19, including underinsured, uninsured, undocumented, and homeless individuals.

The state will pay for the test for those patients that are uninsured. The facility will bill the insurance carrier for those that have insurance.

Symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Those without symptoms can also apply for testing. Priority will be given to those that show symptoms, but applicants with no symptoms can still apply to be included in the process if there is availability.

Essential workers can also request to get tested if they are concerned about contracting the virus.

Essential workers can submit a request to the facility to test all their workers at one time. If available, the testing center can schedule to block out a section of time to allow all the at-risk workers of a workplace to attend and get tested together.

The testing center is one of two recently introduced to rural communities in Stanislaus County as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s initiative to add more than 80 new coronavirus testing sites in rural areas across the state.

Patterson and Keyes were selected for the new testing facilities.

The Keyes facility is located at the Community Center on 5506 Jennie Ave. The appointment process is the same for both facilities.

County spokesman Royjindar Singh commented that the state asked for one of the two new sites in the county to be located in Keyes. With one facility left to distribute, county officials worked with city officials in Patterson to give the west side of the county a much-needed testing facility.

The state was responsible for the setup cost. The county was required to provide a facility for a testing center, while OptumServe is responsible for the testing process and providing results.

Thus far the testing facility has not hit capacity. Singh stated that although the volume of requests is up, the facility is still not at its daily limit.

The Patterson facility comes to a city that is in need. Patterson ranks the fourth highest in the volume of cases in the county according to data from the Stanislaus County Health Agency.

Turlock has recorded the highest amount of positive cases in the county with 166 cases reported.

An outbreak at the Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has contributed to Turlock’s high number of cases. It has been one of the hardest-hit areas in the county, with 14 current or former residents passing away from complications due to the coronavirus. These deaths make up the bulk of the county’s 22 total deaths from COVID-19.

Modesto and Ceres have 128 and 61 cases respectively.

Patterson has recorded 45 cases as of May 12.

The county is also inquiring about also providing a public antibody testing program.

Currently, those wishing to get antibody testing can do so through their doctor. Quest Diagnostics is doing antibody testing through a doctor’s request, but no public antibody testing program has yet to be implemented in the county.

The county is still surveying the options regarding offering public antibody testing.

PI reporter

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