Contact: Jack Bunting – jbunting@desertaidsproject.org – (760) 323-2118

Desert AIDS Project is adding rapid antibody blood testing to its current approach for testing patients at its COVID-19 Triage Clinic. Used in conjunction with swab diagnostic testing, the combination will provide more thorough information so that clinicians can provide patients with the individualized care they need.

Because of its detection of antibodies, the blood test can identify people with past infection, as well as those in the mid-to-late stages of the disease. The DAP Infectious Disease team is validating the test currently by pretesting a control group of DAP employees who have either tested positive for COVID-19 already or who are likely to be negative, without prior exposure.

On its own, the rapid antibody test cannot be used to diagnose or prove previous exposure to COVID-19, but it is an important step in understanding the complexity of this disease to combat it in our community.

Anyone who thinks they might be suffering from COVID-19 is invited to call (760) 992-0407 for information and the opportunity to talk to DAP clinician, who will determine if coming to DAP is the next best step for them.

“Speed is always important in a pandemic,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz, director of the COVID-19 Clinic. “Anything we can do more rapidly is definitely beneficial.”

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That means a few things. Not only will the test enable clients to learn their results in as little as 10 minutes, it’s enabling clinicians like Dr. Foltz to begin piecing together the true progression of this disease in our community.

While it remains unproven if those who recover from COVID-19 build immunity, data from the new laboratory test will support work to determine how much of the Coachella Valley has been exposed to COVID-19, an important step in combatting the disease.

Dr. Foltz says he and his infectious disease colleagues at DAP are piecing together how COVID-19 is affecting the population of the Coachella Valley. This test will enable them to uncover additional important data that will support health organizations defeating Coronavirus.

DAP is NOT offering on-demand testing for asymptomatic clients at this time.

About the COVID-19 Clinic at DAP

DAP’s COVID-19 clinic is open to any community member experiencing symptoms, regardless of insurance coverage. With every visit to the COVID-19 Clinic, clients will be evaluated for multiple upper and lower respiratory diseases.

The process begins with a quick phone call to our COVID-19 hotline for assessment and scheduling. You must discuss your symptoms with a clinician by calling (760) 992-0407—they will advise you if you should come in for an appointment and will set it up for you.

We provide two appointment options for testing: drive-up testing or testing inside our clinic.  Your phone assessment will determine which option is right for you.

The COVID-19 Triage Clinic does not accept walk-ins.

The COVID-19 Clinic at DAP is the only clinic offering treatment for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner.

Treatment provided for upper and lower respiratory infections at DAP’s COVID-19 Clinic includes:

Oxygen Therapy for patients who have lower than normal levels

Nebulizer treatments to open airways and address shortness of breath

IV Fluids for dehydration

Fever control with medication

Community Acquired Pneumonia Treatment – Injection of antibiotics and ability to prescribe medications to our DAP Walgreens (overnight home delivery available)

Influenza A & B testing and treatment

Strep Throat testing and treatment

Location and Hours

COVID-19 Clinic at Desert AIDS Project

1695 North Sunrise Way in Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA

Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm

Before you arrive, call (760) 992-0407 to speak with a member of our care team.

Currently, 7,000 people in the Coachella Valley get primary and specialty care from DAP, plus other services like behavioral health, dentistry, wellness, and social services. Learn more at https://www.desertaidsproject.org/about-us/