COVID-19 testing ramps up in region, face coverings required
by José A. Álvarez
Published - 05/05/20 - 09:15 AM | 2584 views | 2 2 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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More COVID-19 testing sites will open in San Diego County starting tomorrow to meet the needs of the community.

Two sites, managed by the state, opened in El Cajon and Chula Vista on May 5. The state will also take over the testing site at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido so that the County can redirect its efforts to other vulnerable populations and communities.

The state’s three sites will offer about 800 testing appointments, Monday through Friday at the following locations:

Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon;

Former Sears in Chula Vista, 565 Broadway, Chula Vista;

North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido, 649 W Mission Ave.

A doctor’s referral is not required for testing at the above sites, but appointments are required. Appointments can be made online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting, which is currently compatible with desktop computers and Android devices. Compatibility with Apple devices is coming soon. If you have no Internet access, call 888-634-1123, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The County will continue to offer appointment-only COVID-19 testing at the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium and the Live Well Center at Chula Vista.

The new Live Well Mobile Office, which began providing testing in Southeastern San Diego last Saturday, will continue to be deployed for testing throughout the region, as well as the County Library’s bookmobiles and other County vehicles. A doctor’s referral and an appointment through 2-1-1 are required for testing at County sites.

The County also plans to hire an additional 200 public health nurses to help support the area’s testing efforts.

Reopening plans

With more testing and tracing being done, the County is further prepared to loosen more of the local restrictions and allow businesses considered low-risk to reopen, which according to the state could occur by the end of this week.

At its meeting tomorrow, the County Board of Supervisors will consider a Business Safety Framework, a general outline for local businesses highlighting the things they need to prepare for and do before they could reopen. It includes steps to cover customer safety, employee safety, sanitation practices, physical distancing and general business practices.

Tracing of COVID-19

The County is in the process of expanding the number of local contact tracers to about 450 in the coming months. The pool of tracers will be made up of current County employees and external applicants, who will be trained to do COVID-19 investigations.

Currently, the County has more than 130 case and contact investigators who have conducted nearly 5,000 COVID-19 investigations since monitoring for the novel virus began in the region.

Face Coverings Required in Public

County health officials continue to encourage San Diegans to wear a face-covering when in public to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19.

“When you wear a face covering, whether you have symptoms or not, you’re less likely to transmit the virus to others. And others are less likely to spread it to you,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., County public health officer. “The face coverings protect you, but especially those around you.”

People are not required to wear the face-covering all the time, but anytime you come within six feet of people who are not a household contact, or when entering a business. You can carry the mask with you and put it on when approaching others, Wooten added. See more details and exceptions.

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