Ventura County ramps up COVID-19 testing

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By Austin Widger,  Ojai Valley News reporter

Expanded COVID-19 testing is available in Ventura County at seven area urgent-care clinics and at two state-operated sites in Oxnard and Newbury Park. Testing sites and hours of operation are available on the county emergency website,
Testing at the seven urgent-care sites is for people who have symptoms or who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The testing site hotline for those tests is 805-652-7660.
Testing at the two state sites are for people people without symptoms who are front-line and essential workers, such as grocery workers, food-supply workers, utility workers, etc., and also for those with COVID-19 symptoms. The state test sites are at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, and Newbury Park Library in Newbury Park, 2331 Borchard Road, Newbury Park (new site as of May 11).
The phone number to schedule a test at the state sites is 1-888-634-1123. The state testing sites’ hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to  8 p.m. People may register for the state tests online at  https//  
Ventura County residents will not be charged for the test and are not required to have health insurance, although they will be asked for insurance information if available.
Criteria for testing at the urgent-care centers  include:
1. Symptomatic for COVID-19: any person with cough or shortness of breath or two of the following symptoms: fever greater than 100.4F, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
2. Asymptomatic close contacts of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case. For asymptomatic individuals, note the following:
— Asymptomatic close contacts may be tested at two time points, both at the beginning and the end of the 14-day quarantine period. If they are positive at the first test, they do not need to be re-tested at 14 days.
— A "close contact" of a "case" of COVID-19 is defined as living or staying at the same residence, being an intimate sexual partner, staying within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the case is not wearing a mask, or having direct contact for any amount of time with the body fluids or secretions of the case (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on, shared utensils with, was provided care by, or provided care for the case, without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves).
During a videotaped update on the county government response to COVID-19 on Monday, Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said the county is piloting a community contact tracing pilot program that will grow into something “larger and larger.” The county already does contact tracing, but this pilot program will take it to the next level, he explained.
Levin said: “We will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stay quarantined, and we’ll check in with them every day.”
More people will be hired and trained to do contact tracing, Levin said. Already, 10 people from county Library Services have been enlisted to help with the expanded contact-tracing effort.
People who have trouble being quarantined, such as those living in a home with only one bathroom, could receive assistance to move to a place where they are better able to self-isolate, he said.
Ventura County CEO Mike Powers said the county goal is to expand its testing capacity from about 1,500 to as many as 4,000 a week. “We want to continue to go higher than that as we continue to build our capacity here in our county,” he said.
Of the seven testing sites listed on, the closest ones to Ojai are:
— Academic Family Medicine Center 300 Hillmont Ave., Bldg. 340 Ventura,
open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to  4 p.m.
— West Ventura Medical Clinic 133 W. Santa Clara St. Ventura,
open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People are advised to call the county’s Ambulatory Urgent Care-sponsored testing site hotline at 805-652-7660 to reserve a testing time.













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