By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Free coronavirus testing without a referral has people in the area flocking to sites – which will likely increase the number of cases.

Lamont Porter, 71, lined up for a check-up at Cal Expo. 

“I got a bad lung infection, coughing all night, fever,” Porter said. “So my doc said go ahead and get checked out-they have it here.”

Sacramento County is now offering free testing without a referral or sign of symptoms. But you still have to make an appointment with Project Baseline.

“You call in, make an appointment, and you can go in real quick,” said Gloria Luna. “I would advise anybody who can do it, come and do it. They were very helpful.”

The county has already seen an increase in appointments. Last Thursday, there were 198 appointments scheduled. This Thursday, there are 265 – with 200 already scheduled Friday. They can test up to 300 a day.

So far, they have booked to capacity – but never tested to capacity, given a 20-25 percent no-show rate.

In nearby Yolo County, free testing is also being made available.

“I followed the link that was online … it took two minutes,” said Annie Torres.

Optum, the company in charge of the new Yolo County facility, requires a screening and an appointment.

“Check in with your patient ID number, present your photo ID, they present you with a kit, you walk around the corner, hand it to the nurse,” Torres said. “When she calls you, sit in the chair. She opens a fresh swab and sticks to swab up your nose.

Sacramento County authorities expect the number of COVID-19 cases to go up as the number of people tested goes up.

“I am just glad it’s here,” said Porter.

Test results come back in 48-72 hours.


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