Long lines of cars led into Lake Elsinore’s Diamond Stadium this weekend, but instead of looking for a parking spot to watch the Lake Elsinore Storm take to the baseball field, these lines of cars, trucks and SUVs were waiting for something entirely different, to be tested for COVID-19.
Residents of Riverside County who live within 50 miles of the city of Riverside were directed to the site for drive-up testing for the virus after making an online appointment to do so. While many took advantage of the testing, there is still more to be done, Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside University Health System, Public Health, said.
The testing is being done following an online screening questionnaire focusing on symptom screening and risk factors, found at the Baseline COVID-19 website, https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.
If eligible, participants are being directed to the stadium, which is unable to take walk-ins, for testing. People must be screened as high risk to make an appointment to be tested at The Diamond, which has been designated as a community-based testing site. CBTS are California state-directed and federally supported testing centers.
The drive-up testing at The Diamond, which was originally scheduled to end Sunday, March 22, has been extended, Saruwatari said.
“We are excited about this expansion of testing capacity because it allows us to ramp up our responsiveness to our communities,” Saruwatari said. “As a California community-based testing site, Riverside County residents will be able to screen their symptoms and risk-factors online, and if eligible, schedule a testing appointment using the Baseline website. This means that the more people who need the test can get it.”
As of press time, residents can visit the site or call (800) 945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for the Lake Elsinore testing site, but will soon be directed to the website for all appointments.
In related news, one of Temecula’s largest employers, Abbott Laboraties received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to ship 150,000 of it’s RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA tests to existing customers in the U.S., according to a press release issed by the company.
The tests are used on the company’s m2000™ RealTime System and Abbott will be working with health systems and government authorities to deploy additional m2000 systems where they are needed.
“A global challenge like coronavirus requires the commitment and cooperation of everyone who has the ability to help address it,” Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott, said. “I’m proud of the Abbott team and what they’ve accomplished in such a short period of time, and I want to thank the Administration and the FDA for their partnership in making this happen.”
Kim Harris can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.