LAFAYETTE CARES: SPONSOR A TEST FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE SENIORS WITH YOUR $56 DONATION
Seniors and staff in residential housing are at the highest risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. In California alone, 40% of COVID-19 deaths are from nursing homes. Your donation of $56 (cost per test) or more will help us reach our $20K goal to quickly purchase and safely administer onsite testing to the residents and staff of the three residential facilities in Lafayette. The same onsite testing will also begin in both Orinda and Moraga at their residential facilities called ‘Orinda Cares’ and ‘Moraga Cares’.
Our efforts focus on testing seniors and staff at residential housing because this population is particularly vulnerable based on proven factors for higher-risk – age and close contact / exposure. Moreover, they are unable to receive testing easily because the safest way to test them is in their own individual residences – a service not widely available, at least in our area.
To this end, we have convened a group of experts and volunteers to quickly address both issues of immediate and onsite testing. Our County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano encourages our testing, as the County does not provide residential testing. Our dedicated Lamorinda doctors and staff have volunteered to enter and test each of our seniors in Lafayette’s residential housing facilities using the best and most accurate tests available from LabCorp. Testing all staff on the same day is also critical to truly capturing a baseline for each facility. The residents and staff, if positive, will be contacted directly by the doctors, who will coordinate with their own doctors for a continuation of care. The doctors are also in close contact with the County Health Director and the facility management if any positive cases are found. This is truly a coordinated effort by all parties.
We are seeking for donations from the community for many reasons. Many of our residents in senior care do not have medical insurance and were we to charge insurance for those who do, an unacceptable delay would have occurred before testing could start. Instead, we are reaching out to our community to share the costs for testing our most vulnerable residents in Lafayette.
Any city is only as strong as our weakest link when facing this pandemic, so securing safe testing for our seniors and staff in residential housing strengthens our community as a whole.
We are coordinating LAFAYETTE CARES with both Orinda and Moraga, as our three cities are very closely tied as we face this coronavirus. By testing our most vulnerable, we are helping move towards our goal of reopening our three communities as safely as we can.
Thank you so much for helping sponsor a $56 test for our seniors!
LAFAYETTE CARES is organized by a coalition led by Vice Mayor Susan Candell, Dr. Yenjean Hwang and Dr. Brian Candell (both from Orinda Medical Group), and Dr. Armando Samaniego from StatMed in Lafayette.
Letter from Contra Costa Health Director regarding LAFAYETTE CARES:
I received your last voice mail. I have no problem with and would encourage and bless having local organizations/local government move ahead with covid19 virus testing at risk populations, such as elder care living facility residents and/or staff, if you can manage the logistics and the testing resources on your own. Please do keep the health department informed of your plans, as we will need to get involved if there are any positives detected. And please be aware that antibody testing (as opposed to direct virus testing) is not recommended at this time, due to a lack of clear guidelines as to how to interpret the tests and which tests are sufficiently accurate.
Chris Farnitano, MD
Health Officer, Contra Costa County, 1220 Morello Avenue, Suite 200, Martinez, CA 94553