SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County Health Department announced the closure of the free Covid-19 testing site at Greenfield Library effective Oct. 17, with the facilities moving to Seaside beginning Tuesday.
“We did get state support to move our testing operations from Greenfield to Seaside High School,” said Dr. Edward Moreno, the county’s health officer. “Many of the health care providers in South County are now testing in their clinics so our testing rate has gone up in those South County clinics and we’re able to move the site closer to the peninsula so people have greater access to free testing.”
Moreno explained the county testing site at Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas remained unchanged.
“The reason that the Greenfield site is being moved is because the state requires us to have an 85% usage rate based on their capacity,” said Karen Smith, the county’s public information officer. “For the past several months, the use of the Greenfield site has gone way down. In fact, the last report I got this morning (Oct. 14) showed that last week’s was at 25%. And yet when you look at the amount of testing that’s being done in South County, we’re making the mark.”
Smith said the reasoning boiled down to South Monterey County’s underutilization of the county-provided site and use of other medical facilities in the area, as well as Seaside’s status as an underserved area.
The testing was provided in partnership with California Department of Public Health and OptumServe, with the state sponsoring the sites to provide access to testing in underserved communities.
“I want to thank the Greenfield community and Monterey County Free Libraries for opening their doors to the state-sponsored testing site,” said Elsa Jimenez, Monterey County Director of Health. “Since the opening of the site, additional community testing services have been made available at various South County locations, including at Clinica de Salud’s clinic sites.”
In addition to getting tested for Covid-19, Moreno said more respiratory concerns are springing up with the changing season.
“We’re entering flu season during a pandemic, so we’ll have different viral strains circulating that cause similar symptoms,” he said. “It’s really important this year that folks get a flu shot.”
Moreno noted risk for the community at large and keeping hospitalizations down as reasons for combatting the flu proactively.
“There are some individuals that are still struggling with their recovery from Covid-19 and I’m concerned these individuals may be more susceptible to complications of influenza should they get infected,” he said. “(The vaccine) can protect other people from getting the flu who might pass the flu virus to a Covid survivor.”
Testing at the state-sponsored county sites, now in Salinas and Seaside, is open to individuals whether or not they have symptoms. Testing is recommended for healthcare workers, first responders, caretakers to high-risk individuals, individuals considered close contacts to others with Covid-19 and anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to the virus.
Even with the county site having been moved, Covid-19 testing will still be available in South Monterey County at the following locations:
- Greenfield — Clinica de Salud, 808 Oak Ave., 831-674-5344
- Greenfield — Mee Memorial Clinic, 467 El Camino Real, 831-674-0112
- Gonzales — Clinica de Salud, 126 Fifth St., 831-675-2930
- King City — Clinica de Salud, 122 San Antonio Drive, 831-385-5944
- King City — Mee Memorial Clinic, 300 Canal St., 831-385-6000, ask to be transferred to the clinic
- Soledad — Clinica de Salud, 799 Front St., 831-678-0081
- Soledad — Soledad Medical Clinic, 600 Main St., 831-678-2665
Individuals should call the location and make an appointment to be tested. More information is available at mtyhd.org/covidtesting.