SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In an effort to boost COVID-19 testing capacity, the California National Guard has been deployed to help testing sites across the state, including six in San Diego County.
"The line yesterday was around the block and that was just people waiting for walk-ins," said CA National Guardsman Sergeant First Class Steven Vasquez.
The demand for COVID-19 testing is not slowing down as cases continue to surge driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom activated the state National Guard, deploying over 200 members to testing sites.
Vasquez is at the site in Escondido.
"You can see the community is happy we're here to help out," he said.
Some guard members are administering tests, while others help facilitate the process.
"If you do have an account, they're inside actually checking in and moving things along," Vasquez said.
The sites are by appointment only, but people can still show up to some locations like the one in Chula Vista in the event there are no shows.
Still, Charles Graham said having an appointment made the process quick and easy for him.
"We made an appointment to make sure we got in here. If you’re doing a walk-up, you might be out of luck," Graham said.
Meanwhile, Carlotta said she's still having a tough time getting her mother tested for COVID at the site in National City.
"They turned me away. They said sorry," Carlotta said.
She said she was told she needed to make an appointment online.
"I’ve been trying for the past 15 minutes trying to log her [mother] in, and it keeps throwing me out, and now she can’t get a COVID test, Carlotta said.
Carlotta said there needs to be a testing site designated for senior citizens who may not be able to sign up for appointments on their own.
"It’s harder for them. You have to come up with characters and you have to come up with passwords. A lot of them don’t know how to do that," she said.
The Governor's Office said more National Guard members will be deployed next week.
A total of six sites in San Diego County will be getting help from the National Guard. See the sites below:
- San Diego - 5330 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92110 (Open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm)
- Chula Vista – 1301 Oleander Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7am-7pm)
- El Cajon – 200 S Magnolia Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020 (Open Monday-Friday 7am-7pm)
- Escondido – 649 W Mission Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7am-7pm)
- National City – 1221 D Ave, National City, CA 91950 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7am-7pm)
- Oceanside – 3708 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Oceanside, CA 92056 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7am-7pm)