Pictured: Viral tests for the coronavirus require a nasal swab.

by Kimberly Rivers

kimberly@vcreporter.com 

On May 4, as part of an effort to increase the number of residents tested for the coronavirus, Ventura County opened up free testing centers at several locations across the county to residents who meet particular criteria. 

The testing centers will conduct a virtual PCR test performed using a nasal swab. Anyone with symptoms is encouraged to call; screening questions will be asked by phone. Testing is free, and no insurance or physician referral is required.

To get tested, first call in for the phone screening and to be assigned a testing location. Two state-managed testing locations will only be testing essential workers. Seven county-managed testing locations will test anyone who meets the expanded criteria. Essential workers can be tested at any location. 

  • Ventura County’s Ambulatory Urgent Care Hotline for testing: 805-652-7660. 
  • State testing registration: 1-888-634-1123. Online registration is also available at:  www.lhi.care/covidtesting.

Criteria for testing: 

  • WITH SYMPTOMS: Those with symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough or shortness of breath or two of the following symptoms: fever over 100.4 F, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. These individuals will be tested at the county-operated locations. 
  • WITHOUT SYMPTOMS: Those who have no symptoms but have come in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Individuals who are asymptomatic with close contact may be tested twice — at the start and end of the 14-day quarantine. Those who test positive initially do not need to be tested again. Those without symptoms who wish to be tested will be reviewed and tested by the state-managed testing sites in the county. 

Close contact is defined as living in the same residence, being sexually intimate or staying within six feet for over 10 minutes with a person who is positive for coronavirus and was not wearing a mask. Close contact also includes sharing of bodily fluids — coughed/sneezed on, shared utensils, provided care by, etc. 

Testing locations: 

STATE-MANAGED TESTING SITES Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Only for frontline and essential workers (e.g., grocery workers, food supply workers, utility workers, etc.)Optumserve State Locations:  Register online: www.lhi.care/covidtesting. Phone: 1-888-634-1123. 

  • Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard
  • Conejo Creek Park South, 1300 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks

COUNTY-MANAGED TESTING SITES See location information for days and times. Ventura County Ambulatory Care Urgent Care Locations. For pre-screening and appointment, call the hotline at 805-652-7660.

Oxnard
  • Las Islas Family Medical Group – South | Seven days a week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | 325 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Oxnard
  • Magnolia Family Medical Center | Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. | 2240 E. Gonzales Road, Oxnard
Ventura 
  • Academic Family Medicine Center | Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | 300 Hillmont Ave., Bldg. 340, Ventura
  • West Ventura Medical Clinic | Seven days a week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | 133 W. Santa Clara St., Ventura
Santa Clara River Valley 
  • Fillmore Family Medical Group | Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | 828 W. Ventura St., Fillmore 

EAST COUNTY – TWO LOCATIONS: 
  • Conejo Valley Family Medical Group | Seven days a week, 9:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 200, Thousand Oaks
  • Sierra Vista Family Medical Clinic | Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | 1227 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley