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Dr. Rais Vohra

A new website that lets Fresno County residents sign up for COVID-19 testing at Fresno City College without a doctor’s referral is up and running, interim county health officer Rais Vohra said Monday afternoon.

Vohra said he was one of the residents tested earlier Monday at the new test site in the college gym, although he had no symptoms of the highly contagious virus.

“I have to give everybody a heads-up, it is not the most pleasant procedure, because they do have to get that swab pretty deep in there in order to make sure that they’re catching the right tissue in your epithelium,” he said. “I just have to say, it wasn’t something I’d like to have again, but I do appreciate the chance to get it done this first time.

“And I definitely empathize for all of you who found that procedure less than pleasant. I totally understand what you go through.”

Number of Test Sites Expanding

The Fresno City College site is one of 80 that are springing up around the state to provide more testing services to Californians.

More testing and better contact tracing have been cited by Gov. Gavin Newsom as necessary to the state’s plan to begin easing its lockdown, now in its eight week.

Vohra said it typically takes 48 hours to get the results of a COVID-19 test. He said he wasn’t sure whether he would be notified through an automated system or some other means.

The Fresno City College site can process as many as 132 tests daily, and Vohra said he wants to spread the word so the site can serve as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

Because the lockdown shut the Fresno City College campus, forcing students and instructors to shift to distance learning, finding a place to park in Lot K near the gym is easy, he said.

Second Fresno County Site to Open

The county will announce on Wednesday the location of a second site, this one in a rural area, where as many as 130 tests can be done daily, Vohra said.

Residents are encouraged to register at the test website, lh1.care/covidtesting, on their own. Residents who lack internet or otherwise can’t make their own reservation can call the Department of Public Health at (559) 600-3200 for assistance, he said.

The site contains screening questions such as whether the person has coronavirus symptoms and is an essential worker, a first responder, or is 65 or older.

Those questions are designed to help officials prioritize contact tracing for a positive coronavirus test, he said. A healthcare worker who tests positive might have had more contacts that would need to be traced.

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