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San Diego County opening more COVID-19 testing sites as demand increases

Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 13:10:38-04

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV)- San Diego County is opening more COVID-19 testing sites to meet the increased demand as the delta variant spreads.

Claudia Lopez and her family were getting tested. Lopez says she was exposed to the virus and currently has mild symptoms. She's fully vaccinated but worried about her young children who have health issues.

"It's concerning but getting vaccinated, I think would help everyone and also for peace of mind," said Lopez.

Peace of mind is what motivated Mike Wahlstrom to get tested. He's vaccinated but heading to a wedding out of state. He appreciates the convenience of the county's testing sites.

"I think they're great; if anyone is concerned about getting somebody else sick, it's great to have," said Wahlstrom.

Right now, there are eight state testing sites across San Diego County. The county continues to open more testing sites to meet the increased demand. There are roughly 19 right now. At one point in 2020, there were 42 testing locations. Some require appointments, many do not. Mobile sites are expected to be set up next week.

Health officials say a variety of factors is contributing to the demand.

"You see increase in cases, you see increase in demand , mask mandate was taken away, so a lot of people are comfortable, a lot of employers are going back to where they require their employees get tested," said county testing coordinator Ryan Clabo.

Doctors say the rise in positive cases is nowhere near the numbers seen during previous surges, but they are concerned.

"As much as we want to be living in this world with the pandemic behind us, the fact is, that it's not. We are still in this pandemic," said Dr. Aaron Lehman with Kaiser Permanente San Diego.

Dr. Lehman said the positive case numbers have not reached the level of previous surges, but the medical community is worried.

"We were seeing great improvements, and we know the vaccine was a paramount part of that, so what it's going to take is even higher vaccination rates," said Dr. Lehman.