Local residents look for answers on how to get tested for COVID-19

Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 22:40:50-04

As the number of COVID-19 cases reaches six in San Luis Obispo County, some residents say they don't understand the process for testing in the county.

One resident says she was denied the ability to start her new job after disclosing she had a cold that included shortness of breath.

Ginger (who asked that her last name not be used in this story) was instructed to get tested for COVID-19, but after realizing she couldn't afford the potentially $80 co-pay to her doctor, she reached out to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

“They stated that you have to have a doctor's order in order to take a test," Ginger said.

She opted to visit an urgent care center and was told she does not have enough severe symptoms to be referred for a COVID-19 test and was granted a work clearance form.

She adds that the process has left her with more questions than answers.

“It’s not really free because now they have to go visit a doctor that has to analyze whether or not they really qualify to take a test,” Ginger said.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says that due to the limited capacity of tests in the county at the moment, trying to get approved for testing through a healthcare provider or an urgent care center if you don't have insurance, remain the best options.

“As we get further into this, if we see there are outliers in our provider community, we would like to know about that and have conversations with them. At this point, we are not in a position to have individual conversations with them but we are trying to get the message out far and wide to our community physicians that we are asking them to be part of the solution," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, SLO County Public Health Officer.

If you are looking for additional information about when to contact your healthcare provider in regards to testing, click here.