Santa Clara County utilizing mobile COVID testing sites as demand spikes in recent weeks

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Thursday, August 5, 2021
Santa Clara Co. expanding COVID testing as demand spikes
Santa Clara County and OptumHealth rolled back out their mobile COVID-19 testing bus to help with recent increase in demand.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara County is seeing an increased demand in testing as well and they are utilizing all resources to keep up.

Many thought the pandemic was winding down, but the Delta variant has the community seeing a need for COVID-19 testing.

"Well, I feel like a lot of people want to know if they have COVID or not for their family because they want to be safe," Akanksha Pradhan said. "They want to be safe with themselves and they don't want to lose anyone in their family that they love a lot."

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Even in Santa Clara County where more than 84% of the eligible population has at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, demand is on the rise.

"At the community-based sites that I oversee, we've seen a three to four-fold increase in the last two weeks," Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Tong said. "We were averaging about 1,000 people coming for testing a day and yesterday we were up to almost 4,000 that came."

So what do you do when you have a high demand and a need for easy access?

You bring the testing to the people.

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Santa Clara County and OptumHealth teamed up to deploy a mobile bus that provides 336 tests per day.

It's free and accessible testing for all types of needs.

"I go into the office for work and we had an exposure at work," Denise Hung said.

"My employer says I have to get it twice a week now since I don't want to get the vaccine," Fabian Loredo said.

"There was some exposure to COVID in her school and that's how we got to know that we needed to get her tested and we decided to get tested as well," Mani Pidhan said.

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With the Delta variant and breakthrough cases of COVID-19 reported, some vaccinated people are wondering when, if at all, they should get tested.

Dr. Jennifer Tong says the county is recommending you get tested if you show COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed, or routine, surveillance testing for unvaccinated people.

"All of us together need to be re-expanding our testing," Dr. Tong said. "I think we all had hoped to scale that back, but we have rapidly re-expanded and are getting close to the level that we had available to the community back in the December surge timeline."

The bus will be back tomorrow at Valley Water Headquarters from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., appointments are recommended, but yes, walk-ups are allowed.

The bus will also make future stops in San Mateo county as well as Santa Clara County.

For more COVID-19 testing information, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website here.

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