Local COVID-19 test sites filled up with appointments

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 20:36:17-04

Local COVID-19 testing sites have been so busy lately that it will be about a week before you can get an appointment in San Luis Obispo County, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said Wednesday.

Currently, San Luis Obispo County has free public coronavirus testing clinics in San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach and a pop-up clinic located this week in Atascadero.

Dr. Borenstein said testing demand has dramatically increased lately so the health department is asking that people who do not meet certain criteria delay or cancel testing.

It's a sentiment echoed by health officials in Santa Barbara County who say the county's three public testing clinics in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Buellton have also been booked solid.

Health officials are asking people to consider whether they have symptoms, work in a high-risk environment or are an essential worker, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 before making an appointment.

San Luis Obispo County also announced Wednesday that in order to offset the costs of test kits and staff time to provide COVID-19 tests to the public, it is adding new fees that will be billed to people's insurance.

The new fees go into effect on August 7, and are expected to result in up to $400,000 in revenue to help offset the costs of coronavirus testing.

Dr. Borenstein said people without health insurance will not be charged.

According to Public Health, CARES Act funds are expected to offset some of the expenses for the COVID-19 tests that have already been done.

Click here for more information on testing sites in San Luis Obispo County.

Click here for more information on testing sites in Santa Barbara County.