Berkeley Introduces COVID-19 Self-Testing

The City of Berkeley is piloting a COVID-19 self-testing kiosk that ensures accurate test results in just 24 to 48 hours.

At a pop-up self-testing site at the Berkeley Adult School parking lot on San Pablo Avenue, the actual process of self-testing for COVID-19 takes about 20 seconds.

Appointments are made online but walk-ins are also welcome.

NBC Bay Area’s Ginger Conejero Saab took the test herself to see how exactly the self-testing site would work. She reported that everything is done by the person getting the testing to ensure sanitation and less exposure.

The comfort and ease of the self-testing are just some of the reasons why Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin has brought the curative testing kiosk for the second time to the Bay Area.

“We hope to expand this to other parts of the city, particularly to make sure that communities that are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, such as Black and Latinx communities, get access to testing,” Arreguin said.

He tested himself this morning and expects the results to arrive via email within 24 to 48 hours.

“We’ve heard concern from our residents about the amount of time it takes to get results,” Arreguin said. “The test results are within 24 to 48 hours.”

Curative, Inc. CEO Fred Turner said his lab’s ability to have a one to two-day turnaround is essential to fighting this virus and ensures the lab’s accuracy.

“We built everything about the lab from the ground up for COVID so we’re not stuck in any of the existing infrastructure that some of the other, bigger labs have,” Turner said. “We’re doing 60,000 to 70,000 tests per day right now, a lot of that is in Los Angeles, Texas and Florida.”

Curative’s biggest site currently is Dodger’s Stadium where they test around 6,000 people daily.

The Berkeley pilot site will run until Friday, August 14. Anyone may go there to get tested regardless of whether or not they are a Berkeley resident, have health insurance or have symptoms.

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