Riverside County health officials are encouraging teenagers and young adults to get tested for coronavirus because it is believed the group has been underrepresented in testing so far. Health officials say it is important that all segments of the population get tested to help determine the spread of coronavirus in the community.
“Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status or insurance, and it is free,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “Testing has been expanded to be available for those with and without symptoms, and we encourage our young people to get themselves tested at one of our many testing sites.”
While adults have been well represented in testing, officials said they would like more of those 25 and younger to get screened. According to census data, those 18 and under make up about 25 percent of Riverside County’s population, but that group has made up only 6.6 percent of the testing appointments at the county’s coronavirus testing sites.
“We would like to get a more complete picture of the illness as it has spread among young people,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of public health for Riverside County. “This will helps us better understand who in the community has the disease and how it might be moving among children and families.”
In addition to the county’s four drive-up testing sites – Indio, Perris, Riverside, and Lake Elsinore – there are eight state-operated walk-up testing sites spread throughout the county. Residents who want to be screened do not have to have symptoms; however, an appointment is required for testing. Parent permission is required for the testing of minors.
To make an appointment at a county drive-up testing sites, call 800-945-6171. To make an appointment at a state-operated walk-up testing site, visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.