Mass COVID-19 testing site coming to Fresno fairgrounds

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- COVID-19 testing sites across the Valley are seeing a holiday rush, according to officials.

"We are having more people come in because they are symptomatic and they have been exposed to someone," said Dr. Kenny Banh from UCSF Fresno. "On top of that, we have a large load of people who are trying to get tested because they are going to be gathering or trying to test before they are with family and friends."

Dr. Banh oversees testing for the COVID-19 equity project, which provides testing to underserved parts of Fresno. He says in a single day, his staff has had to turn away up to 300 people due to limited resources at the equity project's mobile testing site and the clinic on East Weldon Ave.

"We allocate over 200 tests per day for our community. Two months ago that was no problem," he said. "We would take the whole day to get through that. Now we have over 200 people lined up at the door before we open the door at 8 o'clock in the morning."

As Fresno County sees a rise in coronavirus cases, which is only expected to increase during the holiday season, the announcement of a new mass testing site at the Fresno fairgrounds is welcomed news.

"The more the merrier to help us with the solution," said Dr. Banh.

Starting next week, the drive-up testing site will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm at no cost. Results will be available within one to two days.

"You essentially pull up in your vehicle. You don't even have to get off," said Fresno Councilmember Luis Chavez. "They come and they swab. And you are off on your way."

Walk-in, or in this case drive-up, tests will be available without registration. For those who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms, rapid tests with 20-minute results will be available.

"That will give folks a more stable, permanent location," said Chavez. "They will be able to get a safe and reliable covid test."

Down the street from the fairgrounds, the same services will be available at the Mosqueda Community Center Monday through Saturday.
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