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San Luis Obispo County members share experiences getting COVID-19 tests, as the county hits a peak in case count Tuesday

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Posted at 1:26 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 12:59:55-04

Coronavirus testing is a phrase most have heard by now. On Tuesday, San Luis Obispo Couny reported 72 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 1,078 confirmed cases, the highest increase in case count in a single day.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says the county has seen an increased demand for COVID-19 testing in the past week.

"We've seen demand steadily increase over the last several weeks testing appointment times are backlogged a little bit more each week at our state sponsored testing sites," County Public Health Spokesperson Michelle Shoresman said.

Last week, Dr. Penny Borenstien said COVID-19 testing sites have been so busy, that it takes about one week before you can get an appointment in San Luis Obispo County.

Dozens of community members shared their experience getting tested after KSBY posted to Facebook, asking what the testing process has been like for people.

Many in the county say they have been getting their test results back within one day.

"Symptoms on the 22nd. I called on the 23rd, called the Health Department on the 23rd, had an appointment on the 24th. I got my results back on the 25th," Templeton resident Mia Purdin said.

Purdin's husband tested positive for COVID-19 in June. She was able to schedule a test shortly after she began to show symptoms in the weeks following.

"It was a really smooth process. I have only good things to say about it," Purdin said.

County Public Health officials say testing in the county is still a concern. As of Tuesday, the turn around time for private labs is about four to seven days, Shoresman says.

One big concern from community members, is to be seen in a timely manner. Another problem is being able to have other medical concerns addressed.

Amber Shelton of Nipomo says she went to the CHC in Arroyo Grande to get tested for symptoms she was having that were non-COVID related.

She feels other medical needs that are brought up by community members are being dismissed due to the pandemic.

"It just seemed like the doctors and the nurses that were there it was just like they couldn't hear anything that was going on besides the symptoms that were listed on the paper and didn't hear anything that was going on with me," Shelton said.

Some hospitals across the state are overloaded with patients. As of Tuesday, fourteen people are hospitalized with six patients in the ICU.

County health officials say those who are symptomatic should seek a test from a health provider, but should try to stay home for the most part.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center also says the increase in COVID-19 cases could be an indicator that there is more testing, but until until everyone is tested, it is difficult to know the impact the case numbers have.