To help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the Eastern Coachella Valley, the City of Coachella is partnering with Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, Borrego Health, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation and the County of Riverside to open a location providing LabCorp PCR COVID-19 tests starting on Friday, May 1, 2020.
"The Eastern Coachella Valley has been hit hard by the coronavirus," said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez. "These tests are an important step towards helping people in need, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and slowly moving to reopen businesses."
Borrego Health will coordinate the testing and provide staffing at the site. Tests will be by appointment only and take place between 7-11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Health insurance programs will cover the costs of the tests, and they will be provided free for those who do not have health coverage. Those who do not currently have health insurance will receive information and assistance signing up for programs such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh.
"Our goal is to make the testing process as quick and simple as possible," said Corina Velasquez, Borrego Health Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer Riverside. "People will show up for their appointments, fill out some simple paperwork and get their test. They will then be contacted within a couple of days with their results."
"We are all working together to identify and treat people who contract the coronavirus," said Desert Healthcare District and Foundation CEO Conrado E. Barzaga, M.D. "This type of collaborative effort is key to limit the spread of COVID-19 here in the Coachella Valley."
The test site will be located at 85365 Dillon Road in Coachella, just west of SR 86 on Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians tribal land. The tribe is providing free use of the testing site and utilities needed to set up the test facilities.
"This is a public health issue that affects all of us," said Darrell Mike, Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman. "We all must work together to save lives and protect people here in the eastern Coachella Valley."
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia and Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez also worked diligently to connect these groups to ensure testing was made available in this hard-hit area.
"While Riverside County is already leading other counties in California on testing sites, I am grateful to the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians, under the leadership of Chairman Darrell Mike, for forging a partnership with the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, Borrego Health, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Coachella Mayor Steve Hernandez and my office to create a new community testing site in the eastern portion of the Coachella Valley," said Perez. "Increased testing is the key to getting back to any sense of normalcy and this new site will greatly help in those efforts."
Testing at this site is by appointment only, but open to all people. To schedule a testing appointment, please call (833) 624-1097.