The city of Oakland on Wednesday opened a new free COVID-19 coronavirus testing site in East Oakland in a partnership with Roots Community Health Center and the nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort.
Testing at the Roots Community Clinic at 9925 International Blvd. is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Health insurance isn't required.
The site will use Verily's Baseline COVID-19 Program platform and will pilot its use for drop-in testing.
Oakland officials said people should get the test if they work outside their homes or are worried they have COVID-19, especially if they work in a health care facility or long-term care facility or have virus symptoms.
In addition to the new East Oakland site, coronavirus tests are available at the city's other testing site at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center next to Lake Merritt.
Appointments for people who aren't already Roots patients can be made by using Verily's COVID-19 program at www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19.
"Testing is critical to getting our arms around the COVID-19 pandemic and moving toward the outcomes Oaklanders need to see: containing the spread, making our communities safer and providing care to those who need it most," Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement.
"If anyone thinks they have been exposed or might have COVID-19, please don't wait - get tested as soon as possible," Schaaf said.
Vice Mayor Larry Reid, who represents the district where the Roots clinic is located, said, "East Oakland is disproportionately harmed by the impact of COVID-19 and I want my community to know we see that harm and are prioritizing East Oakland for testing locations."
Reid said, "Services must be prioritized in communities feeling the most impact and we'll continue working to address the needs of this community."
Oakland officials said they're working with Alameda County to bring additional testing sites in East Oakland in the coming weeks and will announce more details when they're available.