The megachurch pastored by evangelist Greg Laurie has announced it is hosting COVID-19 testing at its California campus. Harvest Christian Fellowship has teamed up with district health officials to offer a drive-through testing service which began receiving patients on Wednesday.
“Riverside County continues to offer more options for residents to get tested,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, second district supervisor, according to NBC Palm Springs. “This third drive-up location will help ensure that those who have symptoms have options to get tested.”
The church confirmed the news on its Facebook page, noting that the safety and security of the church campus will not be jeopardized by the testing facility.
“We want to let you know that the City of Riverside is manning the operation in a safe and secure manner,” it said. “Our hope is to reassure you that while we are doing everything we can to aid in combating the effects of COVID-19, the testing will be conducted outside in the patient’s vehicles.”
“Therefore, our campus will not be affected by the presence of the medical testing.”
Riverside added that it sought to be “as helpful as we can during this difficult season and this opportunity is allowing us to do that.”
“We love you, and we are praying for your safety and health always,” the church concluded.
To be eligible for testing, you must be exhibiting the symptoms associated with COVID-19 – fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or congestion – and have to pre-book an appointment by calling 800-945-6171.
The test center is located in the church parking lot at 6115 Arlington Ave, Riverside, CA 92504.
In addition to hosting the tests, Harvest has also launched a “COVID support program” in the form of a food bank that aims to provide essential goods to those in need at this time of crisis.
“We have already received a number of donations, but we anticipate that we must collect much more to be able to provide assistance to all of those in need,” the church said. “If you are able to donate some essential goods we are most lacking in, we would really appreciate your help.”
California currently has over 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 246 deaths. It is third behind New York and New Jersey, which have a combined case count of almost 125,000.