Coronavirus screening: Calif. COVID-19 task force lead hopes to have enough tests for general public by next month

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom took responsibility for the number of novel coronavirus tests in California and promised to do better Saturday afternoon.

"The testing space has been a challenging one for us. I own that and I have a responsibility as your governor to do better and to do more testing in the state of California," said Governor Gavin Newsom.

RELATED: COVID-19 testing backlog decreased, more testing on the way, Gov. Newsom announces

Gov. Newsom confirmed over 126,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and 13,000 of those are still awaiting results. Staggering numbers that led to a state partnership with two California universities and a task force to increase the volume of tests.

"Partnership with UC Davis and UC San Diego to create a minimum of 5 to 7 hubs where we will work with different vendors," said Gov. Newsom.

Leading the COVID-19 test task force is Dr. Charity Dean, Assistance director of California's Public Health Department and Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California.

RELATED: East Bay company to have hand-held COVID-19 testing devices ready by next month

Markovich wants to make sure that anyone in need of a test can get one.

"We've set a goal to get to 10,000 per day in the next two weeks to 25,000 per day by the end of this month. By the end of the summer in August getting to the capacity of 50,000 a day," said Markovich.

An increase of COVID-19 testing will hopefully mean a decrease in deaths. At least 300 people have died of COVID-19 in California.

When we asked Markovich for a timeline of when his team plans to have available tests for the general public to get tested he said, "Well if we hit our targets, I would say within a month we should be able to do that. Ideally we want to be in a position to do that as we start relaxing the stay at home measures."

RELATED: Shelter in place for another 5 months? Here's what Stanford researchers are projecting and why

Governor Gavin Newsom also announced that more test sites are set to open. Abbott Laboratories committed to opening 75 testing sites in California.

The state also announced the website, covid19supplies.ca.gov, supported by Salesforce.

During this supply shortage, the website will allow people and manufacturers to offer resources.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus crisis, submit yours via the form below or here.


RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.