Cal OES Distributes 200,000 COVID-19 Testing Kits to California’s Most Vulnerable Communities


Working to continually protect Californians most at risk to COVID-19, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has distributed 200,000 COVID-19 at home testing kits to vulnerable community members across our state.

Cal OES sent COVID-19 test kits to over 300 of California’s Community Based Organizations, to be distributed to the most vulnerable and high-risk Californians.

This effort strives to ensure that all individuals have an option for at-home testing that can be used and interpreted without assistance, and will set the course towards accessible testing in the weeks and months to come

“We want to ensure Californians who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are able to get the test they need, that their families need, and that their care providers need to operate in a healthy, safe and secure environment.” said Vance Taylor, Cal OES Chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs.

“Getting access to PPE, to vaccines, to test, all of these supplies that Cal OES has been able to provide really have been life or death resources.” states Aaron Carruthers, Executive Director at the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

This initiative is part of a wider effort by Cal OES to ensure that individuals with access and functional needs, regardless of where they live or the level of community transmission of the virus, have equitable access to COVID-19 testing, masks, and other critical mitigation strategies.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Cal OES has collaborated and consulted with the Access and Functional Needs community and taken several key actions to address the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. This includes:

  • OAFN hosted California State Access and Functional Needs Leadership Coordination calls, which brought government and community leaders together to discuss the state’s COVID response.
  • Distributing masks to vulnerable Californians through community-based organizations and local partner jurisdictions.
  • Providing free transportation to vaccines sites
  • Ensured the mega vaccination sites were both physically and programmatically accessible
  • Collaborating with Cal OSHA and the California Department of Education to develop a plan to support students, teachers and educational staff with access and functional needs who may be at increased risk of becoming infected at school
  • Establishing a peer-support friendship line for gaining Californians and adults living with disabilities.

To find COVID-19 testing locations, receive free test kits and more Click Here