As demand for coronavirus testing soars, I.E. county officials urge residents to make appointment online

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With an increased demand for coronavirus testing ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Riverside and San Bernardino county officials on Monday urged residents who want to get tested to make an appointment online.

They can schedule a test through the following links:

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the public health officer for Riverside County, tweeted that some sites are experiencing delays because of an increase in need and walk-ups.

“Throughout the pandemic there have been times when the number of drive-ups or walk-ups without an appointment was so significant that it caused delays. During May and again in July,” county spokeswoman Brooke Federico said in an email Monday. “Our overall testing numbers have increased significantly.”

The current waits can be attributed to people who are showing up without appointments, Federico said, adding that most sites run by the county and state can still accommodate same-day or next-day testing if individuals schedule online.

“The county and state-run testing sites have a capacity to test 4,000 people a day,” she said. “The county has provided additional staffing to some test sites to help with the delays caused by individuals arriving without appointments.”

She also noted that private providers and some pharmacies now offer PCR swab testing, “the most sensitive type of test and the only test the state includes in the testing metric.” Federico encouraged those interested in taking a test through a private provider to visit covid19.ca.gov/get-tested.

In San Bernardino County, the number of weekly tests has doubled since the week of Oct. 12 to 18, spokesman David Wert told KTLA. About 90% of the county’s testing sites, each of which can provide up to 500 to 600 tests, either hit or exceeded their capacity last week, Wert said.

On Monday, the county’s official Twitter account announced at 8:20 a.m. that there were no more appointments available for the day but that there were still openings available over the next two days.

Wert said while county testing sites have not seen any significant lines, officials built up capacity before the current wave of demand started.

“If they have an appointment, they shouldn’t have to worry about a long wait,” he said. “Hoping to walk in and get tested without an appointment is not advised.”

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County officials announced that county-operated testing sites will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They urged people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed and want to get tested to seek help from their health care provider. Residents without a regular provider can call 2-1-1 for help, the county said.

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