During the spring and early summer, the Hospital Council facilitated the creation of a Mobile COVID-19 Testing Program in Sacramento County. The three-month pilot, which was funded by existing budgets of three fire/EMS providers, took paramedics into congregant living settings to perform testing among the most vulnerable populations and the staff who cared for them. Skilled nursing, memory care, assisted living, and behavioral health facilities benefitted from having on-site testing that prevented the unnecessary transport of fragile individuals. The county health officer credited this front-line response with helping keep a lid on viral spread in the capital region during the early stages of the pandemic.
Due to the success of the program, the Board of Supervisors allocated CARES Act dollars to resurrect the program beginning on Oct. 1. Since that time, the number of provider agencies operating mobile testing units has expanded from three to five. During the first six weeks of the renewed effort, paramedics performed 15,000 swabs in these congregant living settings. Because of its importance, the county is extending the program through June 2021.