Community Labs has expanded coronavirus testing for its business clients at its downtown location from one to three days a week. And for the public, it is opening two new locations for free testing: Rackspace Technology and the Barshop Jewish Community Center.
The nonprofit Community Labs has since last September offered self-administered tests for asymptomatic individuals through different channels, including weekly testing at more than 200 school campuses.
It also has contracted with businesses to test employees. For small, downtown businesses, Community Labs offers testing at the Geekdom Event Center on Soledad Street. Beginning this week, tests are offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Clients include members of the Geekdom co-working space, as well as other businesses and organizations including the San Antonio Symphony, Hotel Valencia, Braustin Mobile Homes, Pinch Boil House, Weston Urban, the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, and Plus One Robotics.
Community Labs President Sal Webber said the expansion was intended to attract people back to downtown. “We’d like to work with hotels and restaurants to create safe zones for people,” he said.
Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin said in a press release that they were “happy to work with Community Labs to provide a central collection point for other downtown businesses.”
Earlier, Geekdom served as a pilot for the asymptomatic testing program. The co-working space has since August required members to test weekly and show a negative result before working in the building, among other precautions.
Cristina Rodriguez, a lot manager at Braustin Homes, which operates out of Geekdom, said the service has helped her team feel safer. “Even though everyone here stays distant and wears a mask, the test is that extra security,” she said. The Community Labs location – in the same block as Geekdom – makes it convenient enough to undergo weekly testing during a quick break or before work, she said.
The downtown location has until now tested 150 people per week on average, said Mary Ullman Japhet, a spokeswoman for Community Labs and Geekdom. “We’ll see how that number climbs going forward.”
For larger employers, such as Santikos Entertainment, Community Labs has been conducting tests on-site.
Businesses can learn more about Community Labs’ testing services on its website.
Testing at the Geekdom Event Center is not open to the general public. For individuals, the organization offers free testing, in partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, at three locations: the Ramirez Community Center, the Cuellar Community Center, and soon – at Rackspace Technology and the Barshop Jewish Community Center. Rackspace Technology is located at 1 Fanatical Pl., at the intersection of Walzem Road and Northeast Interstate Loop 410, and the Jewish Community Center is at 12500 NW Military Hwy.
Public testing at the AT&T Center is closing after Friday, Feb. 5. The new locations begin the week of Feb. 8.
Testing at the AT&T Center is closing because the upcoming San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, as well as continuing Spurs games, posed “significant scheduling restrictions,” said Webber.
Rackspace Technology CEO Kevin Jones welcomed the partnership in a press release. He called Community Lab’s services a “brilliant crusade to test and find the COVID-19 asympomatic ‘silent spreaders,’ which has helped reopen schools, businesses, and even the economy.”