Recently the state of California and the Monterey County Health Department made two free Covid-19 testing sites available in the Salinas Valley. Now the Monterey Peninsula has its own testing station for a limited time at Monterey Peninsula College.
The drive-through station is open to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 19, and will run from 9am-noon and 1-4pm on certain days through June 11, in Lot D, located in the rear of the college near the Early Childhood Laboratory School. (See below for a schedule.)
A dry run for first responders and health care workers is taking place on Monday, May 18. Originally the plan was to have a "soft opening" for those workers all week and open to the public after Memorial Day.
Once word started getting out the station was coming a decision was made to move up the schedule, says Yuri Anderson, chair of the Monterey Peninsula College Board of Trustees. (Anderson also works as chief of staff for Fifth District Supervisor Mary Adams.)
An online appointment system is being developed and will be available beginning Wednesday. Appointments aren’t necessary but will be encouraged.
Participants must bring insurance cards if they have them, but if they don’t they will not be turned away. There is no out of pocket cost for the test. The tests are being administered by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and processed by Quest Diagnostics.
“We were happy to answer the call from the county to assist in ramping up its testing efforts,” Anderson says in her role as trustee chair. “Our campus is a community resource that provides an ideal setup up for the drive-through testing Planned Parenthood stepped forward to provide.”
County officials are now working to get the number of people tested up as high as possible because one of the benchmarks of a phased reopening of business is a certain percentage of tests per day conducted in each county. Monterey County needs to achieve around 650 tests a day, Monterey County Health Officer Edward Moreno said recently.
As of May 13, the county had the capacity for about 374 tests per day, from a combination of all sources, including the Monterey County Public Health Lab, the hospitals, the test sites in the Salinas Valley and private labs.
The schedule for the general public at the MPC drive-through test site in parking lot D is open 9am-noon and 1-4pm on the following dates:
Tues-Thurs May 19-21
UPDATE: Testing was cancelled for Thursday, May 21, after the public response was so great supplies were depleted in the first few days. Planned Parenthood officials hope to reopen next week. Visit their website for updates: plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-mar-monte/campaigns/covid-testing-mc
Tues-Thurs May 26-28
Mon-Thurs June 1-4
Mon-Thurs June 8-11