County now offering rapid COVID-19 antigen tests

By Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, July 10, 2021

covid test

The County of Sonoma has partnered with Curative to offer BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 antigen testing at all Sonoma County Department of Health Services testing sites. The rapid tests enable those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get preliminary results in about 15 minutes.

BinaxNow is a self-administered nasal swab. After taking the preliminary test, users will have to take a PCR test to confirm their COVID-19 results. PCR test results are usually available within 48 hours.

Those who are experiencing symptoms are asked to self isolate until they get definitive results from the PCR test. If the PCR test is positive, county health workers can help residents locate resources such as emergency financial assistance, food and mental, legal and senior services available from nonprofits.

“As restrictions ease, we are seeing an increase in infections,” Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said in a statement. “This increase is the direct result of increased interactions between groups of people, especially among unvaccinated individuals coming together at large events, such as weddings and graduation parties. While Sonoma County testing sites continue to use PCR tests to make final determinations about COVID-19 status, BinaxNOW is an excellent tool to assist in making quick decisions about isolation and quarantine while waiting for the PCR result.”

According to a county press release, the county has partnered with federally qualified health centers to provide testing in neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19 and since September, more than 28,000 tests have been administered at pop-up testing events targeted to these neighborhoods.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sonoma County has remained at or ahead the state average of tests per capita and has administered over 754,000 tests since the start of COVID.

“We have made great strides. Of those 12 years and older, 67% are fully vaccinated and another 8% are partially vaccinated. That still leaves 25% unvaccinated,” Mase said. “Testing remains crucial, especially for those who have not yet chosen to get a vaccine. The Delta variant is an increasing area of concern and we continue to urge all community members to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

County residents can currently choose to get PCR and rapid tests at eight Santa Rosa county department of health services testing locations:

  • Mondays: Center for Spiritual Living at 2075 Occidental Road
  • Tuesdays: A Place to Play Park at 2375 W. 3rd St., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at 1671 Hendley St., and Coddingtown at 1000 Coddingtown Center
  • Wednesdays: Rincon Valley Park at 5108 Badger Road (use the Montecito Boulevard entrance)
  • Fridays: Andy’s Unity Park at 3399 Moorland Ave., Bayer Farm at 1550 West Ave., and Galvin Park at 3330 Yulupa Ave.

All sites are open from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Folks can also make an appointment at sonomacounty.fullslate.com.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing for those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 whether they have been vaccinated or not; for those who’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, unless they are vaccinated or have tested positive in the last three months; for those who are unvaccinated and have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, such as travel, attending large gatherings or being in crowded indoor settings; and for those who work for employers, such as health care facilities, that require routine screening.

For more information about testing, visitsocoemergency.org/test. For vaccine information, visitSoCoEmergency.org/vaccine. Resources and information can also be accessed by calling the County COVID-19 hotline at 707-565-4667.

This article was produced by SoCoNews. See more news at soconews.org