More than 1 million California residents tested for COVID-19; efforts to increase testing capacity continue

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Workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) perform drive-up COVID-19 testing administered from a car at Mend Urgent Care testing site for the novel coronavirus at the Westfield Fashion Square on April 14, 2020 in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) perform drive-up COVID-19 testing administered from a car at Mend Urgent Care testing site for the novel coronavirus at the Westfield Fashion Square on April 14, 2020 in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

More than 1 million residents statewide have been tested for the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, but the efforts to increase testing capacity continue.

Over the past few days an average of 35,000 tests have been administered daily, exceeding the April goal to conduct 25,000 tests a day. Newsom said in the last 24 hours alone, 41,000 people had been tested.

“A million is an important milestone in our efforts, but we still are not where we need to go,” Newsom said at Tuesday’s news conference.

Newsom said the goal is now to test more than 61,000 people every day. With the stay-at-home orders relaxing in some areas, Newsom said it’s crucial for residents to continue to be vigilant with hand-washing and social distancing, and to continue the use of face masks.

“I want to remind everybody that this disease is still ubiquitous. It’s still deadly. Seventy-seven people lost their lives to this disease over the last 24 hours,” Newsom said.

And Newsom added that just because a person gets tested once, doesn’t mean they should become any less concerned with the possibility of still becoming infected.

To help make testing more accessible, Newsom said six additional, no-cost testing sites will be opened in some of the state’s rural areas including Lake and Mendocino counties. Additional testing, as well as “roaming” testing, is also being rolled out into underserved communities.

Also on Tuesday, Newsom signed an executive order to authorize some of the state’s 6,492 pharmacies to begin testing for the coronavirus. Guidelines will be put into place to ensure safety protocols are followed at pharmacies offering the tests.

“We hope to start seeing these pop up very, very soon,” he said.

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