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Here's how to get a coronavirus test in Sacramento and surrounding counties

Free coronavirus testing is now available in Sacramento County, but who is eligible? How do you get an appointment? And what is the testing process?

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Coronavirus testing in California is increasing thanks to new federally-funded testing sites, including the new site at Cal Expo. But how do you actually get a test done?

The testing site at Cal Expo is one of four sites created by a partnership between the state-directed, federally-funded program in collaboration Google's sister company, Verily and its program Project Baseline. This means that tests conducted at these sites are free, even without insurance, and results will not be shared with insurance or medical providers.

"If you are within 50 miles of the city of Sacramento and want to get tested for COVID-19, you can complete the screener to see if you qualify. You will need internet access and a Google account," Verily's Rachel Ford Hutman said.

To be eligible for a test, you must be 18 years of age and live in the United States. For testing at the Cal Expo site, you must reside within 50 miles of Sacramento County.

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According to Hutman, each of the four testing sites has an allotment of 200 tests per day.

Here's how it works:

  1. Go to Project Baseline's website.
  2. Fill out the information and go through the online screener. In addition to symptoms, Verily said the site prioritizes folks who get a test by factors including your exposure to others with COVID-19, if you're in an at-risk location or have an occupation that's more at-risk, age and previous health conditions.
  3. From there, the site will determine whether or not you're eligible to receive a COVID-19 test. If you are eligible, you'll get a reference number and can set up an appointment. The testing sites will not allow anyone in without an appointment.

For those eligible to receive a test and with an appointment, the test at Cal Expo is a three-step drive thru. In the first step you'll show your identification and reference number with the car window up, then you'll get assigned a lab kit that will be attached to your car and thirdly, you'll receive a nasal swab.

From there, tests are sent to outside lab results. According to Verily's website, it typically takes around two to four days to receive results, this is in lieu of the lab's capacity. If your test is positive for COVID-19, a certified healthcare professional will call you. If your test is negative, you'll receive an email.

RELATED: Free, private coronavirus testing is coming to Sacramento County. Here's what you should know

The Verily site at Cal Expo is the first drive-thru test in Sacramento County. 

"Cal Expo is part of a statewide community and wishes to do our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve," said Cal Expo's Margaret Mohr.

Yuba, Sutter and Stanislaus County have been conducting drive-thru testing for weeks. Many of these testing sites are being conducted by private labs like LabCorps or Quest and require a doctor's note beforehand.

For more information on COVID-19 and testing in Sutter and Yuba County, you can visit their website or call 530-749-7700.

For testing in Stanislaus and Merced County, the Modesto Bee reports there are two sites but are only available for Golden Valley Health Clinic Clients with a referral from their provider.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Andie Judson.

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