The city of Mountain View will be hosting a pop-up COVID-19 testing site on Wednesday, designated specifically for asymptomatic frontline workers who may have contracted the coronavirus.
The one-day testing will be available at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, located at 500 Castro St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 8. The tests will be free, and no health insurance or doctor's note will be required.
Unlike the drive-through testing site at the Shoreline Athletic Fields, which is available to all residents throughout the week, the downtown tests will only be provided for one day — and only to residents who are deemed essential or "frontline" workers.
Frontline workers include anyone who regularly interacts with the public, including first responders, retail staff, food delivery workers and grocery store clerks, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
County health officials have encouraged frontline workers in recent months to proactively get tested for COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms of the illness. In May, the county had advised all workers frequently in contact with the public to get tested immediately and again once every month going forward.
The county's emphasis on the seemingly healthy comes at a time when researchers are warning of rapid "silent transmission" of the virus, which is partly to blame for COVID-19 spreading like wildfire. Recent studies suggest that asymptomatic and "presymptomatic" transmission may be responsible for the majority of the documented cases, creating a serious logistical challenge for public health officials who have relied on symptom-based isolation.
Those who are exposed to COVID-19 may not feel any symptoms for up to 14 days.
"The County recommends that these employees get tested even if they have no symptoms at all," according to a recent statement. "Testing can identify the infection before a person feels unwell or before they spread it to another person with potentially deadly consequences."
Those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are asked not to come to the testing site Wednesday, and are instead being asked to call their doctor to be evaluated for testing in another location. Symptoms include a fever, cough or shortness of breath, chills, vomiting and a loss of smell or taste.
Testing results will be available via phone within four days, but participants may get a call as soon as the day after. People who test negative will receive an email within five days.
Residents who are not frontline workers and want to get tested can go to the testing site at the Shoreline Athletic Fields, located at 2450 Garcia Avenue. The site is run by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and provides drive-through testing to all residents Monday through Thursday. Participants will be required to show a photo ID and a health insurance card if they have insurance. The tests are free and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.