Santa Clara County is hosting an all-day COVID-19 testing site in downtown Mountain View on Tuesday.
Testing will be available at the Center for the Performing Arts, located at 500 Castro St., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 15. Testing is only available for those who schedule an appointment online.
County health officials say Tuesday's testing site will be aiming for same-day test results via text message, significantly reducing the lag time. Past county testing sites offered a phone call within two to three days, but typically only for those who test positive for COVID-19. Those who test negative have had to wait for a notice in the mail.
"Testing is our ticket to fewer restrictions," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in a statement Friday. "Fast test results improve the contact tracing work, which keeps our county as safe as possible from COVID-19."
County officials are encouraging frontline workers who regularly interact with the public to get tested regardless of whether they show any symptoms. People at higher risk include grocery store clerks, construction workers, retail associates, first responders and anyone who regularly rides public transportation. Past downtown testing sites have been exclusively for frontline workers.
People with symptoms of COVID-19 will be redirected to a county drive-through testing site to reduce the chances of spreading the virus at the downtown site.
Santa Clara County has ramped up testing to an average of more than 6,600 tests per day between Aug. 14 and Sept. 5, for a total of 152,768 tests. Roughly 3.1% of those tests have been positive for COVID-19.
The county is currently within the "red tier" of California's risk scale, allowing some businesses and services to reopen. Santa Clara County was previously in the worst tier, but was upgraded on Sept. 8, which county officials said was largely the result of its robust testing.