Posted: September 4, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

COVID-19 Testing
Coming to Newberry Springs
September 23rd - 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.

    A number of people have been working to acquire COVID-19 testing in Newberry Springs.  Since March, testing has been done in the major population areas of the county, repeatedly, however, the rural areas have been neglected.

    The Newberry Springs Property Owners Association has been busy soliciting the county's Health Department for testing, Kathy at The Barn (a nurse) has also been active.  Since being recently contacted by the Health Department, the Senior Center folks have been busy working with the county to host the event at their Center.

    Even I have made numerous telephone calls speaking with officials to the point of a couple of weeks ago threatening to call out the L.A. TV media as to why rural areas can not get tested.

    To be blunt, we have been intentionally discriminated against because it is politically about numbers.  The county doesn't want to send teams out to rural areas and spend a day of transportation and testing for only a few tests.  For cost-effectiveness, the county wants a minimum of 300 tests a day from a team.

    It is not just about the county's medical testers.  The county will be sending out a separate company that will disinfect the Community Center so the testing is a complicated and an expensive ordeal to organize.

    I wanted the tests to be done at the CSD's Community Center during a commodities exchange.  We would have at least 150 people attending for food and this would comprise of a group that (for the majority) would not be tested otherwise.  Unfortunately, another date was selected.

    The county approached the Senior Center as the Health Department has held vaccination and other events there in the past.

    The county's normal procedure is to have everyone preregister for the test online.  A major reason for this is to eliminate time-consuming paperwork and to minimize exposure of their personnel at a test site.  Also, the county tries to acquire medical insurance information online so that it might acquire reimbursement and set appointment time slots.  At test sites, insurance information detail is often not available.

    I have argued with the health officials that preregistration would not work in Newberry as most residents don't have insurance, many don't have Internet access, and that due to transportation problems, some would have a problem attending during a preset time slot.  I requested modifications to accommodate Newberry's realities.

    The county has been very kind and understanding and has resolved all of these problems by eliminating them for Newberry.

    While acquiring the testing has been a collaborative journey by many, it is disappointing that other community members have recently posted false and misleading information on social media.

    I don't know where Hepsibah got her information about possibly waiting for hours, that will not be the situation in Newberry.  The process takes about 15-minutes.  If there is any wait, it will be very short.

    Hepsibah is also wrong about receiving a call or letter.  In San Bernardino County, you call in for the results.

    Hepsibah's and Jodi Elder-Howard's comments about the cost are also TOTALLY WRONG.  Another reason why the CSD's General Manager shouldn't be posting her intelligence on social media.

    Roger Salzillo's comment that the testing will be "Totally FREE" is correct.

    There is no online registration, no requests for possible insurance will be asked, and the test is FREE.  We want you to attend.

    Due to heat, testing will be done inside the Senior Center.  You MUST wear a mask to enter.  If you show up without a mask, you will be given a free mask.  If you do not wear a mask, you will not be allowed to enter the building.

    With the county dropping its usual preregistration requirements for Newberry, this is as easy as it gets.  This is an important opportunity for Newberrians to get tested.

    Please attend.

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