Public Health Urges COVID-19 Test for All Workers

MARIN PUBLIC HEALTH – Urges COVID-19 Test for All Workers 

Free testing available for those in grocery, construction and other industries

San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Health is calling on all businesses and employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic – especially where workers have frequent contact with the public – to utilize free COVID-19 testing options.   

Marin County has nearly tripled its testing capacity over the past three weeks. While an increase of confirmed cases is a natural biproduct of increased testing, the test results and contact tracing data have revealed spikes of cases among people who work in public service jobs, such as grocery stores, construction sites, gas stations, food service and restaurants, school services, and landscaping.

Even people without symptoms can have COVID-19 and infect others. While voluntary, testing is an important step in containing COVID-19 and protecting people who live, work or interact with essential service workers. In Marin, communities where many people live together in a single home, with several generations in one household are at highest risk for exposure. In addition, seniors and individuals with certain health conditions are especially vulnerable to serious illness or death if infected.  

In addition to testing options available through medical providers across the county, free testing is available by appointment at two locations in San Rafael:

  • Civic Center area: Weekday appointments available, schedule online.
  • Canal area: Appointments Tuesday through Saturday available, schedule online or call 888-634-1123.
Mt. Tam From San Anselmo, Photo 2020 © by Melanie Nathan

Local businesses with public operations are encouraged to support their employees if they’d like to get tested, especially grocers, food service, construction, gas stations, hardware stores, pet stores, hotel services, school services, child care locations, and others. Marin County Public Health is working with larger employers to perform on-site testing. United Markets has coordinated with Public Health to conduct employee testing at its two Marin locations.  

“We want to take care of our employees, and I am thrilled to be able to offer on-site testing for them,” said Kelly Smith, President of United Markets. “This will give employees peace of mind and help gather more information about COVID that will help the community as a whole.”

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Public Health Officer, said robust communitywide testing is essential to contain the virus and help the county return to normalcy as quickly as possible. Cooperation and participation from the business sector is helping, he said.

“The sooner we are able to quickly identify cases, the more we can prevent them infecting others,” he said. “By helping with this effort, our local businesses have been able to better financially protect themselves from costly localized outbreaks and are demonstrating that they are good community partners and places where Marin residents feel safe shopping.” 

Testing is confidential. Health insurance or physician referral is not required. Spanish translation is available.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, a nurse from Marin County Public Health provides instructions on self-care, the care of any others in the household, and advice on getting more medical care if conditions worsen. It takes at least 10 days of isolation and 72 hours without symptoms to be considered recovered from COVID-19. In addition, Public Health will work with the confirmed case to conduct a “contact investigation,” which helps identify close contacts who have had a high-level of exposure. Those contacts are referred for testing and quarantine, if needed, to stop further spread of the virus.

Public Health is working with community-based organizations to ensure residents are aware of the testing option and to support residents who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and their families.

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Melanie Nathan
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