(Photo via the Centers for Disease Control and Preventon/Unsplash)

Some sites in Santa Clara County offering a free COVID-19 test now provide a free flu test also, county officials said Saturday.

COVID-19 testing at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds and rotating sites in area cities will offer the two tests for people with symptoms.

People with symptoms can also get the two tests at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center clinics. The two tests are not available at the county pop-up sites at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose and the South County Annex in Gilroy because those sites are for people without symptoms.

People have about an equal chance of having the flu or COVID-19 if they have symptoms common to both viruses, said Jennifer Tong, the county’s hospital surge branch director.

“Potentially they could even be infected with both, and it’s vital that they know what they have so that they can follow the correct isolation requirements,” Tong said in a statement.

“It’s also important for health officials to know the number of people in the community who are positive for either one, whether or not they are showing symptoms,” Tong added. “Studies have found that asymptomatic people can also carry the flu.”

Next week, appointment-based testing that includes both tests will be available in Milpitas, Mountain View, Cupertino, Campbell and Palo Alto.

Appointments can be made at www.sccfreetest.org and up to seven days before the day of the test.

Appointments for the fairgrounds location can be made up to five days ahead of time.

Information at www.sccfreetest.org is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Tagalog.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.