Kim Harris
Managing Editor

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. 

Health care workers test individuals who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

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.

Tents are set up for health care workers to conduct tests on individuals who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

 

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.

Health care workers prepare to test individuals who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

 

“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. 

A health care worker takes a break as her colleagues’ test individuals who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

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 health care worker makes her way to the drive-up line to test individuals who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

 

“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 valleyeditor@reedermedia.com.

 

 

 

 

A Health care worker waits to administer a COVID-19 test at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Health care workers conduct dozens of tests Sunday, March 22, during a drive-up operation testing for the COVID-19 virus at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Registered nurse Joe Perez reacts as his colleagues sing “Happy Birthday” to him in celebration of his 33rd birthday during a lunch break at the COVID-19 virus testing in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Health care workers ask a patient questions before testing for the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
A health care worker waits to test a patient who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Health care workers put on robes before going into a zone where individuals are tested for the COVID-19 virus at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Health care workers fill out a questionnaire for an individual before testing an individual who may be showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus at a drive-up operation at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo