In response to the surge of the omicron variant of COVID-19, San Mateo County is expanding hours at 10 existing testing sites, adding a new test site at the San Mateo Event Center, and distributing home test kits to at-risk residents.
“These steps will roll out over the coming weeks as local health leaders seek to ensure the County maintains one of the highest per capita test rates in California,” County officials said.
Currently, the County supports 10 sites that can offer up to 8,500 PCR laboratory tests per week. The plan is to increase the testing capacity at some of those sites by 10 percent. The PCR tests site at Ted Adcock Community Center in Half Moon Bay has increased from one to three days per week, and Wednesday appointments will grow from 132 to 258 for the rest of January. The new appointments should be available online next week. In addition, the test site at the College of San Mateo, which runs five days a week, will soon increase from eight to 12 hours per day, staff dependent.
Additionally, a new walk-in testing site in the Event Center parking lot (enter at 1346 Saratoga Drive in San Mateo) is set to open Friday and can provide up to 2,000 tests per day. Appointments are required through the Virus Geeks website.
Starting Monday, Jan. 10, the County has contracted with Bay PLS to offer up to 500 rapid antigen tests daily at its existing San Bruno location (appointments required).
The County is also purchasing 50,000 home test kits, each of which contains two rapid tests, for distribution through partner agencies to at-risk residents and first-responders.
“We are not the only testing option for residents with private health providers or access to privately purchased tests, but we are proud to be an important part of helping stem the spread and prevent severe health impacts,” County Manager Mike Callagy said.
Supervisor David Canepa noted there is a nationwide shortage of COVID tests.
“Increasing capacity at the Event Center and other County testing sites will be a welcome relief for those who want to keep their families safe during this surge,” Canepa said. “This effort must and will continue until COVID and all of its variants are behind us.”
County officials asked the community to be patient, “as staffing shortages and shipping delays may impact operations.”
The County also encouraged residents to get vaccinated, including a booster shot if eligible. Adult and pediatric clinic locations & times here.
Photo courtesy of San Mateo County