Free Covid-19 testing has commenced at Tahoe college

Registered Medical Assistant Michelle Asher conducted Covid-19 tests on Tuesday at Lake Tahoe Community College.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Some South Lake Tahoe residents spent Cinco de Mayo getting tested for coronavirus.

El Dorado County residents were admitted one by one into Lake Tahoe Community College’ gymnasium to have nasal swabs from a registered nurse. Appointments for both systematic and asystematic people had to be made — either by phone or online – to receive a test for Covid-19.

At midday, no one had missed their appointment and the daily maximum 132 tests were expected to be conducted.

“The more people we can get tested, the faster we can open California and Tahoe,” said Deborah Sherry, the onsite administrator.

To register for an appointment, visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888) 634-1123.

Over the weekend, four new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the Lake Tahoe part of El Dorado County, bringing the total to 20. There are 53 confirmed cases in the county and no deaths. Meanwhile, the nationwide death toll surpassed 70,000 on Tuesday.

Patients who enter the campus are greeted at the parking lot entrance by security guards, who direct them to the library to sign in. From there, they go to the Physical Education Building, where at 2 p.m. people waited outside, spaced wide apart from others. A mask is given to people before they enter the building.

One woman in line said she was feeling OK. “I have a 97-year-old mother in the Bay Area who I’m going to go visit,” she said. “I just want to make sure I am good to go.”

Test results take 48 to 72 hours. If someone tests positive, they will be contacted by a nurse. Otherwise, they can confirm they are fine the same way they made their appointment, by calling or checking online.

The entire process takes about 15 minutes and the actual test about one minute.

Testing is administered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all this week and for as many as eight weeks, depending on the demand, Sherry said. There will no tests conducted Sundays and Mondays.

Antibody testing to detect if someone has already been exposed to the virus will not be offered at this time.

-Tim Parsons

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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