Editor’s note: This story was updated Sunday, March 29.
About one-fourth of the 207 people who were tested on the first day of operation for the city of Hayward’s new COVID-19 Testing Center this week had positive results for the novel coronavirus, city officials said.
The samples taken Monday at the testing center at Hayward Fire Station No. 7 and analyzed at Avellino Labs in Menlo Park are retested and the results are immediately reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the city.
Confirmed positive results also are shared immediately by Hayward Fire Department medical clinicians with the person found to have the infection and are reported by Hayward to public health officials in that person’s county of residence.
Hayward officials said differing protocols in each county may mean that results from the Hayward testing center will be added to each county’s aggregate confirmed case total in different ways and at different intervals.
The city said it plans to publicly report positive results about 48 hours after each day’s testing, and is disclosing the information to help residents understand the prevalence of the coronavirus infection and reiterate the importance of complying with shelter-in-place orders and other social distancing hygiene precautions.
Of the 207 people who were tested Monday, 54 were confirmed to have the coronavirus. An additional 460 people were tested on Tuesday but their results had not yet been released, although Hayward and Avellino officials say it only takes six to nine hours to get test results.
City officials plan to have the testing center open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Mondays, or until the number of tests available for the day have been exhausted. They say they can process up to 370 samples a day. They closed the center early on Wednesday because they ran out of testing capacity, Hayward city spokesman Chuck Finnie said.
Hayward officials originally were making the test available to anyone who met new broadened test criteria, regardless of where they live or their immigration status. However, as of Friday they restricted eligibility to people with a fever over 100 degrees and other symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, as well as any recent travel to Europe or Asia.
City officials said the tightening of the testing criteria came at the direction of Alameda County health officer Dr. Erica Pan.
First responders and health care workers with recent suspected exposures to coronavirus can call Hayward’s COVID-19 hotline at 510-583-4949 to make an appointment for testing.
More information about the testing center is available online.