Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom, Mayor Breed share share COVID-19 testing solutions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Access to coronavirus tests continues to be a major problem in the Bay Area and across the U.S.

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Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Thursday that they're working on local solutions. Meanwhile, people are concerned that they can't get the testing they feel is necessary.

"We don't know when we're going to get test kits," said Teresa Johnson, who was on the Grand Princess and is now quarantined at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The base is 18 miles from CDC headquarters in Atlanta, but they still haven't gotten tested.

"I spoke to somebody not more than five minutes ago and I said are we getting any more kits? And she said all we're doing right now is temperatures and meals.... It doesn't seem like anybody has any answers. There's a lot of confusion and a lot of people who are upset about that," Johnson added.

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In the Bay Area, some Kaiser patients, who have double medical clearance from a primary care doctor and an infectious disease specialist, are getting tested for coronavirus at the French campus on Geary and Fifth in San Francisco.

Patients pull up and get swabbed in their cars by medical personnel wearing protective gear, who are working out of a tent in the parking lot.

But not everyone is invited to the drive-thru.

"I have a fever and a cough for over 8 days now," said a Kaiser patient who does not want to be identified. She says Kaiser has refused to test her. She has gone to the doctor four times in the past week.

"I requested it again today and the answer was no, we can not test you, we do not have enough tests," she added.

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"We need to focus in on these tests," said Governor Newsom, who also said he was surprised the issues with testing kits haven't been a bigger part of the national conversation. He says California has 8,227 testing kits, but he says the kits are incomplete, which is slowing down processing at 18 state labs.

"It's very much in line, these test, with you're going to the store and purchasing a printer but forgetting to purchase the ink," said the Governor

"I'm very disappointed," said Mayor London Breed, who said the CDC should be in a better place by now, with enough testing kits for on-demand access.

"Here in San Francisco, we have some of the most incredible health care professionals anywhere in the world. We're not going to wait for the federal government to do what they should have done a long time ago," Breed said.

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Next week, Governor Newsom said he hopes to have new centralized California testing locations open to improve efficiency.

One Quest lab in San Juan Capistrano has been conducting 1,200 tests a day since March 9. But the Governor expects two more Quest labs to be online by the end of March, which will increase testing capacity by 5,000 tests a day.

The Governor said Stanford, UCLA, and UCSD are already testing.By next week, he hopes UC Davis and UC Irvine will start testing.

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