Free Covid-19 testing starts Tuesday at LTCC

Appointments must be made to be tested for Covid-19 at Lake Tahoe Community College.

Covid-19 testing beings on Tuesday, May 5, at Lake Tahoe Community College’s Physical Education building in South Lake Tahoe.

According to a press statement from LTCC, Health service staff will conduct nasal swab tests in LTCC’s Physical Education building by appointment in order to determine the active presence of the COVID-19 virus at the time of testing.

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

Tests will be available to any county resident regardless of their health, access to medical insurance, or immigration status free of charge.

LTCC will operate as a testing site for a minimum of two months, with a capacity of 132 tests per day. To register for an appointment, visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888) 634-1123. Test results take 48-72 hours. Patients who test positively will be contacted by telephone by a nurse.

The planning and operation of LTCC’s test site will be the responsibility of El Dorado County’s Emergency Operations Center. LTCC’s PE building, where testing will be conducted, is more than 100 yards away from other facilities on campus, allowing essential college employees to safely conduct their work without interaction with visitors coming for COVID-19 testing.

LTCC’s parking lot will be divided, with barricades and signage used to limit access to the PE building to medical personnel and test patients only. Security checkpoints will be in place to keep those visiting for tests from accessing other college facilities. No college personnel will be involved in testing work. When the testing site closes, LTCC’s PE Building will undergo an intensive sterilization process led by public health experts before returning to service for college activities.

El Dorado County Public Health Communicable Disease investigators as of May 1 reported 47 confirmed cases, 16 in the county’s Lake Tahoe region. There are no reported deaths. There have been 2,240 people tested.

As of May 2 in California, there have been 53,616 positive cases and 2,215 deaths, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1,153,372 cases in the United States with 67,476 deaths.

The college’s Physical Education Building will be used as one of two COVID-19 test sites in El Dorado County, allowing for an expansion with a focus on underserved areas of the state. This follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement to add more than 80 community COVID-19 testing sites, allowing the state to go from approximately 16,000 tests per day to upwards of 80,000.    

“With the other testing site located all the way in Shingle Springs, our facility provides for a really convenient and safer alternative for South Shore residents,” said LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco. “We’re proud the college was able to provide for the health of our community this way.”

LTCC is located at One College Drive off of Al Tahoe Boulevard in the center of South Lake Tahoe. Testing days and hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 7am to 12pm and 1pm to 7pm, closed Sundays and Mondays.

For more information about local testing and COVID-19 cases, visit El Dorado County’s virus homepage. (https://www.edcgov.us/Government/hhsa/Pages/EDCCOVID-19.aspx). For more information about LTCC’s response to COVID-19 and campus updates, visit www.ltcc.edu/coronavirus.

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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