Update - September 25, 2020 
County Requires Private Health Providers to Expand COVID-19 Testing  
New health order affects Kaiser, Sutter, among others 
In a new Health Order, the Contra Costa Health Officer  is requiring private healthcare providers to do more COVID-19 testing, and make it easier for their patients to get tests.
The order, effective October 8, requires providers such as Kaiser, to offer timely COVID-19 tests to essential workers, anyone with symptoms, and anyone exposed to the virus.   
Santa Clara, Marin, and San Francisco counties have similar orders.  
County Health Services also asked large providers to voluntarily provide fast virus testing to anyone who asks, even if they don't have symptoms.  
The request was sent to Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health, Sutter Health and San Ramon Regional Medical Center -- the main private providers serving our county.
The order reflects the growing, urgent need to test more people who live and work in Contra Costa County.  
Testing is considered by experts as essential to reducing the spread of the virus. With widespread testing, people with COVID-19, symptomatic or not, can self-quarantine, protecting others. The more people who get tested and self-quarantine if positive, the less chance of anyone getting the virus.   
An estimated 40% of people with COVID-19 show no symptoms. The only way they will know they have the virus, which they could be passing to others, is by testing. 
County Health Services advises monthly testing for essential workers in jobs with high public contact like store clerks, restaurant wait staff, teachers, and assisted living staff - among others.   
The County also recommends immediate testing for anyone who feels sick or has had contact with someone who feels sick, especially with fever, cough, or breathing problems. Testing is also vital for anyone who has had contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.  
Increased community testing is key to reopening businesses and community activities more quickly in Contra Costa County. Testing is vital to our economy! 
About 2,300 people get tested every day in Contra Costa, including tests performed at public sites and private health providers. The county's goal is to test about 4,500 people daily.
About 20 percent of all patients tested at Contra Costa's 12 public community testing sites have commercial or private health insurance that would cover the cost of tests.  Many report they were denied tests by their providers because they did not have symptoms, or because an evaluation from their primary care physician was required before they could get a test.  
These "soft barriers" are preventing high risk and sick people from getting tests. 
The new health order requires prompt testing by all healthcare facilities for: 
  •  Essential workers, as defined by state and local health orders to include teachers, grocery store clerks, restaurant employees, health care workers, bus drivers, as well as others. No doctor's note needed for essential workers.  
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case

  • People identified by County Health Services as needing priority testing, such as possible contacts identified through contact tracing

The county will continue to provide fast, free COVID-19 tests to anyone living or working in Contra Costa, with no appointment or symptoms required. For more, check the testing webpage here, or call 1-844-421-0804.  
Let's all get tested to slow the spread of the virus!  
Thank you, 

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone