Eden Health District Assists City of Hayward to Continue and Strengthen Free COVID-19 Testing

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By Barbara Adranly

Hayward Deputy Fire Chief Scott Anderson answers questions from (left to right) Eden Health District Directors Mariellen Faria, Pam Russo and Roxann Lewis on procedures at the Hayward Testing Center.

La Familia and Cal State University East Bay Nursing Program Graduates and Students will participate in Staffing at the Center

May 14, 2020 – Castro Valley, CA – Mark Friedman, CEO of the Eden Health District, announced today that the District has transferred $250,000 to the City of Hayward to underwrite the cost of operating its COVID-19 Testing Center through the remainder of May 2020. The District has committed to consider additional funding to Hayward, if necessary, to extend testing operations through June 2020.

As the need for funding and additional staffing of the testing site became apparent, Eden Health District Directors Pam Russo and Mariellen Faria coordinated with Hayward-based nonprofit organization La Familia and the California State University East Bay (CSUEB) nursing program to participate in supporting the Hayward site. La Familia will employ recent graduates from the nursing program to conduct tests. Current CSUEB nursing students will also assist in testing onsite as part of their course curriculum. Members of the Eden Health District Board, including Director Roxann Lewis, and CEO Friedman will also be volunteering at the center to assist with operations.

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Hayward and bring together La Familia and the CSUEB nursing program with the Hayward Fire Department to continue testing services and help slow the spread of the virus,” stated Director Russo. “The Eden Health District is proactively seizing opportunities to work with local agencies and leverage public resources to meet the health needs of Eden Area residents.”

“Combined with the District’s earlier distribution of 100,000 KN 95 face masks to health care workers and nonprofit organizations, the District is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to partner with other agencies in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak,” added Director Faria.

“The Hayward Testing Center was the first free COVID-19 testing site of its kind in the country and remains vital to controlling coronavirus throughout Alameda County,” said Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday. “It is a model of efficient use of public resources and we are grateful for our new partnerships with Eden Health District, La Familia and Cal State to keep it going.”

“The importance of alleviating pressure on local hospitals from residents concerned whether they have contracted the virus and providing a quick and easy means for health-care workers and first responders to be tested for the virus remains paramount even as additional testing sites have opened in Alameda County,” stated Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras. “The funding from the Eden Health District will also enable us to continue to do mobile testing of vulnerable populations in coordination with Alameda County Department of Public Health.”

“La Familia has a 40-year history of providing high-quality mental health and community support services in the San Francisco Bay Area,” stated Aaron Oritz, La Familia Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to continue this legacy of service during the most significant public health crisis of our lifetimes.”

“One of the hallmarks of our nursing program is preparing students to be responsive to the ever changing health needs of the diverse communities they serve,” explained Lindsay McCrea, Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing at CSUEB. “Research shows that the coronavirus is disproportionately impacting members of underserved multicultural communities. Our graduates and students are determined to make a difference in countering this negative impact in the East Bay.”

Details on the Hayward COVID-19 Testing Center

The Hayward Testing Center, located at Lot A on the CSUEB campus, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, though it may close earlier on any given day based on demand or if the available number of tests for the day has been exhausted.

Test results also are shared with public health authorities in the counties of residence of those tested, and by those county authorities with the California Department of Public Health.

Testing at the Center is free and available to anyone regardless of where they live or immigration status. To be tested, individuals generally must have a fever over 100 degrees or other COVID-19 symptoms.

Health-care workers and first responders can make advance appointments for testing by calling Hayward’s COVID-19 hotline at (510) 583-4949.

Media contacts only:  Mark Friedman, CEO, Eden Health District, at mark@ethd.org

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