About 10% of first people tested for COVID-19 at Hayward site tested positive

About 10 percent of the 1,254 people who were the first to get free novel coronavirus testing at a Hayward fire station had positive results for the virus, the city said on Wednesday.

Those people were tested during the first seven days of operations at Hayward's COVID-19 Testing Center, which is located at Hayward Fire Station No. 7 at 28270 Huntwood Ave.

The city said 130 of the 1,254 people tested positive for COVID-19.

The testing center is a partnership between the Hayward Fire Department and biotech company Avellino Labs of Menlo Park, which processes the samples and provides test results within four to seven hours.

The center opened on March 23 and is scheduled to operate every day except Monday, or until the number of tests available for the day have been exhausted.

The testing is being performed by Hayward firefighter-paramedics and health clinicians. Testing teams also are being deployed from time-to-time to test vulnerable population groups.

The testing center is free and open to the general public regardless of where they live or their immigration status.

A referral from a medical doctor isn't required but individuals must be symptomatic for COVID-19 and have a fever over 100 degrees to be tested. Qualifying symptoms also include coughing and shortness of breath.

Hayward officials said the fire department and Avellino Labs are working with other cities and Alameda County public health officials to expand testing and open new centers elsewhere in the county and the wider Bay Area.

The city said as test samples are analyzed, the results are reported to the person who was tested and/or their primary care physician as well as to local public health authorities in their county of residence.

Those results are added to counties' daily positive case updates as the results are confirmed and shared through the counties' reporting channels to the state and then to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The city said after that information is shared, authorities will provide those who test positive with appropriate isolation instructions and tell them how to take steps to control further transmissions of the virus.