Solano Co. opens appointment only COVID-19 test site not for the general public

Solano County opened it's first COVID-19 clinic Wednesday to a steady stream of people. 

The testing site is at the Vallejo Fairgrounds, appointment only, and not for the general public.

"I'm tired, headache, nausea, everything hurts, I'm light-headed, " said Lori Kennedy as she drove away from the five minute procedure. 

Kennedy works at a Safeway supermarket and has been ill for five days.  

"I have a fever, a cough, my chest hurts, and I'm dizzy, I just don't feel well," she said wanly. 

Nurses in protective garb show each person how to swirl a cotton swab deep in their nostril. 

The patient does so, then then hands the specimen over, to be dropped in a test tube.  

"People have come in and they've been very appreciative," said Jayleen Richards, administrator with the Solano County Public Health Department. 

Solano County, as of Monday, has 112 coronavirus cases and two deaths.

Widespread testing has been hindered by a lack of supplies, but with equipment arriving from Cal OES and FEMA, the pace is accelerating. 

The site is open six hours daily, and already booked with dozens of appointments. 

"We're testing through Friday this week, and next week Tuesday through Friday, and we have talked about moving the testing to other areas of the county after that," said Richards. 

Vallejo and Fairfield have more than half of the county's cases,  followed by Vacaville and other scattered communities. 

"We are still trending up in cases," said county health epidemiologist Sara Naramore, supervising the test operation. 

Solano was thrust into the epidemic early when cruise ship passengers were quarantined at Travis Air Force Base. 

The county also had the nation's first case of community spread- not linked to travel.
So medical providers got a strong dose of awareness.     

"Having the Travis mission here really gave them some hands-on experience really in the game," said Naramore. 

In order to be tested, patients must have symptoms- and be a first responder, health care worker or essential employee. 

"These are people who are stable enough to be at home and manage their illness," said Naramore. 

They can expect results from the Solano County lab in one to three days. 

That's much faster than the 1-2 week turnaround private doctors have using commercial labs. 

"It is hard to not know and we understand frustration people have, not knowing, it definitely causes a lot of anxiety," said Naramore. 

Among those tested Wednesday afternoon, a mother and daughter. 

"I'd rather be safe than sorry because I'm type 1 diabetic and there's others in my household who have asthma and other issues," said Riane Washington.

Both she and her mom work in health care. 

"My chest feels heavy a lot," said Diane Washington. 

"I would rather know because then they'll let me know how aggressive I need to be with treatment." 

The testing is limited to Solano County residents.