Bolinas to offer free coronavirus tests to all residents

An entire community in Marin County is one of the first in the nation to invite everyone to be tested for coronavirus.

On Monday, Bolinas will begin to test everyone in the town of 2,000 to see who has covid-19, or may have had it and now has antibodies to the virus.

The tests are free thanks to community health organizations, residents and UCSF doctors raising about $300,000 in private money to cover the costs.

The testing is open to anyone over the age of three who lives in Bolinas and first responders.

People will have to make an appointment to be tested.

The testing will happen in Mesa Park through Thursday. 

The goal is to get a clearer picture of how widespread the virus is - and may already have been - in a single community.

"We're really excited to see what the data tell us," said co-organizer Cyrus Harmon. "We won't know until we get the data back what we're going to find and I think that's part of the exciting thing here is, we're in uncharted territory.  No one really has done this. We don't know what we're going to see."

Also as part of a similar effort, UCSF researchers will start the same initiative for residents in the Mission District in San Francisco. 

Starting on Saturday, about 5,700 residents there will be eligible for free covid-19 and antibody tests.