Need a COVID test or booster shot fast before the holidays? Oakland may be your best bet, as Frank Ogawa Plaza outside Oakland City Hall is performing them free through the holidays, though for rapid tests “cost may apply.”
Social media has lately been awash in posts where people say they’re trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, only to be told, “Yeah, maybe in February if you're lucky.” But with the holidays coming up on the Omicron variant surging, KRON-4 reports that the city of Oakland has made the wise and magnificent move to reopen a mass testing and vaccination site at Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the shots and tests are all free, though you may have to pay for a rapid COVID-19 test.
“Amid the season of holiday travel and gatherings, coupled with the emergence of the omicron variant here in the East Bay, it is critical that Oaklanders have easy access to COVID vaccines, boosters, and rapid testing,” city administrator Ed Reiskin said in a statement. “I am pleased that Covid Clinic is providing these essential services to our community.”
The free vaccines they’re offering are the full buffet of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson (though the CDC says J&J is somewhat less effective.) And while normal 1-2 day COVID testing is free, the rapid tests are not. Here are the testing options and whether you may have to pay for them.
- RT PCR Test: 1-2 day results turnaround. No cost to the patient.
- Rapid Antigen Test: 30-minute results turnaround. Cost may apply.
- Rapid Antibody Test: 30-minute turnaround. Cost may apply.
The Frank Ogawa Plaza testing site is open now, and open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – including holidays (though Christmas Day and New Years’ Day fall on Saturdays, so it's a no-go on those particular dates.)
Image: Kevin Y. via Yelp