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In addition to Santa Clara County public health facilities and local health care providers, county residents can now be tested for free at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Plaza, county officials said Monday.

Since the pandemic began in March, the Mexican Heritage Plaza’s School of Arts and Culture has pivoted to providing testing and community services like food distribution while also supporting cultural content, according to School of Arts and Culture associate director Vanessa Shieh.

During a briefing hosted by the county Monday, she said:

“The School of Arts and Culture has really flexed its programming to be more responsive to community needs.”

The school has partnered with Gardner Health Services to offer up to 300 tests per day between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, allowing residents who may be at work or at school during the day a chance to be tested for the virus.

Residents seeking a test must arrive after 9:30 a.m. to receive a wristband and a test reservation time. The school will not ask for insurance information or a form of identification as a requisite to be tested, Shieh said.

Shieh said:

“This is a responsibility we have to one another. This is how we show up and support one another, is to get tested.”

The School of Arts and Culture also partners with the food bank Second Harvest of Silicon Valley to offer food distributions for around 500 families on the first and third Mondays of each month, according to Shieh.

Food distributions also begin at 9:30 a.m. and last through noon.

Shieh said of the Mexican Heritage Plaza:

“This is a trusted site that is easily accessible to a number of people to walk to, to drive to, to bike to, to take the bus line to and get tested.”

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