With the announcement that California will require state employees and health care workers to provide COVID-19 vaccine verification or get tested weekly, many testing centers across the Central Coast could see more people coming in for tests.
State employees and health care workers will need to have proof of vaccination in August or they’ll have to undergo a weekly COVID-19 test and wear their masks to work.
According to the state, health care workers might be subject to testing twice a week, depending on whether they work in areas that require patient care and patient encounters.
This comes as the state is seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases and increasing hospitalizations. Health officials say the delta variant now accounts for 83% of COVID-19 cases statewide and the majority of new cases are among people who are unvaccinated.
Santa Barbara County currently offers COVID-19 testing at a few locations.
Sites like the Santa Maria Fairpark accept walk-ins as well as the American Medical Response Center and the Goleta Valley Community Center.
In San Luis Obispo County, testing sites at Paso Robles Centennial Park and the San Luis Obispo Veterans Hall also accept walk-ins.
County sites aren't the only places people can get tested. There are more than a dozen urgent care centers that might also see an uptick in patients.
San Luis Obispo Med Stop Urgent Care Doctor Brian Roberts says getting state workers tested once a week could be a challenge.
"So they might have to do on-site testing. If they are having those employees go out and get tested outside of work, that will be quite challenging and we will help any way we can but that will be difficult,” Dr. Roberts said.
He adds his care center provides three different types of COVID-19 testing options.
Exact details on how state employers are going to handle weekly testing is still unclear.