Here's how Bay Area counties are handling high demand for COVID testing after holiday weekend

ByZach Fuentes KGO logo
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
COVID testing demand high in Bay Area following holiday weekend
Here's how Bay Area counties are handling the high demand for COVID testing after the holiday weekend.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Christmas is behind us, but omicron is still a top concern.

Long lines for COVID-19 testing were seen in Hayward Monday as people were trying to get tested before heading back into another holiday weekend.

In San Francisco, a steady stream of people showed up to a testing site at 7th and Brannan -- And in the South Bay, rain or shine, people have been lining up at test sites including the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds and a site near Downtown Palo Alto.

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George Orozco, who was at the Palo Alto location, said he felt symptomatic in the morning and took an at-home COVID test.

His goal after was to track down a PCR test to confirm the results.

"They are taking walk-ins and I do have to wait a little bit," said Orozco said.

"But overall getting an appointment, the soonest available appointment was two days from now," he explained.

Bay Area counties say they're working hard to meet the high demand.

Over at the largest county-run testing site at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, cars continued to file in, filled with people also looking for PCR tests.

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The county told ABC7 News the site typically does between 1,500 and 1,800 tests a day. Last week, they say that number shot up to 3,500 and they're working to continue adding slots.

The work to meet the demand is not only being done in the South Bay.

"Any barriers that you put in people's way, whether that's having to wait outside in the rain, when you're sick, cost if you're trying to do a take home test, that's not acceptable" said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney.

Haney says though San Francisco county has in-person testing sites, more can be done to help people get access to at-home testing sites.

"If you want an in-home test, you have to go and purchase it yourself like at CVS or Walgreens and that creates barriers for people and a cost that really, they should not have to bear themselves," Haney said.

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Haney says the county has a back order of tests that they're waiting on to make available to people at home. Santa Clara County also says it has 90,000 at home test kits, given to them by the state that they're distributing with more on the way.

To check availability and to book an appointment at a Santa Clara County test site, go here. Go here for San Francisco.