A total of 125 people registered to take part in the COVID-19 drive-through testing initiative conducted by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health on Tuesday at Colorado River Medical Center in Needles. 

NEEDLES — One hundred twenty-five people  registered to receive COVID-19 testing in the city of Needles Tuesday.

The testing initiative, conducted by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, was held in the parking lot of Colorado River Medical Center.

Before the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (SBCDPH) could provide testing in Needles the city council had to approve the city manager, Rick Daniels, to execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the use of a site/facility with SBC.

Background information provided by city staff said that with the DPH seeking to expand COVID-19 testing to all county residents the city requested to host a drive-thru event on April 28. The city has offered to provide aid in this event such as public outreach, traffic control and clean up. The city council approved the MOU during their meeting on April 28.

There was a total of 40 staff that were assisting in the SBCDPH COVID-19 testing. Six Needles High School students were among the volunteers.

“We appreciate the hospitality and support of Needles and the Colorado River Medical Center during today’s testing,” said Greg Beck, San Bernardino County representative.

Beck said things ran pretty smoothly since the event’s opening at 8 a.m.

“When we started, we did receive some people who did not register but we had the capability of taking in a couple of nonregistered people during the testing event,” said Beck.

The SBCDPH was testing people who were showing symptoms of COVID-19, those over 65 years and they opened the testing up for first responders such as fire department, sheriff department, hospital staff and more.

“In today’s testing event, we are using the oropharyngeal (throat) swab test instead of the nasal swab,” said Beck. “Also, Needles is the pilot city for doing the serology test for anti-bodies which we are doing today.”

Beck said that the turnaround for the tests is about seven days.

“If they are positive they will receive a call and everybody who got tested received info on how to access the website or for more information they can contact the San Bernardino Department of Operations (Deputy Director Melissa Walker) at 909-387-8040.”

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