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High demand for COVID-19 tests ahead of holiday

Coronavirus

CONTRA COSTA, Calif. (KRON) – Public health departments are urging people to avoid gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday as the Bay Area and nation work to curve a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Still, in Contra Costa County, this week, COVID-19 testing sites are booked with appointments.

COVID-19 tests administered by Contra Costa Health Services are available by appointment only.

With just a few slots kept open every day for people who are showing symptoms and require attention the same day, in Concord, on Bates Avenue, this and the county’s other nine testing sites are fully booked this week.

“I think a lot of people have been getting tested recently to protect their loved ones,” Parnit Sidhu said, 

Public health officer Doctor Chris Farnitano says COVID-19 case counts and test positivity rates are spiking.

“We had less than 20 patients in the hospital in early October, and now we’re up to 91,” Dr. Farnitano said. 

During the pandemic, more than 584,000 tests have been recorded countywide.

Dr. Farnitano says the daily average has been around 5,000 but in recent days, that has increased to nearly 7,000 tests per day.

“At least if people do get tested and they do test positive, they’ll think twice about getting together with other people and they’ll quarantine,” Dr. Farnitano said. 

Despite long lines, visitors say the wait for a test is bearable.

“It’s usually 15, 20 minutes and you’re done,” Ruth Lawanson said. 

“There’s plenty of people who are symptomatic who are carriers. So, I just think we all need to be tested to know whether, so we stop the spread,” Nancy Katz said. 

Test results should be expected within 24 to 48 hours. Testing sites will close for Thanksgiving but reopen Friday.

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