Sacramento County experiences increase in testing as holiday season arrives

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As the holiday season approaches, the number of COVID-19 tests being performed in Sacramento County continues to increase. 

For the crew at Tetteh Pediatric Health, their Wednesday was nonstop. The small pediatrician office near Florin Road had a line of a few hundred people who were looking to get tested.

Organizers said they fear the volume will continue through the season. 

“I think I have only been here for about 40 minutes,” said Wilhelm Lichnock, who got tested. “It was longer than expected. I had an appointment and that didn’t matter.” 

Dr. Beatrice Tetteh said the South Sacramento location is one of 11 sites in the county that offers free testing. 

“Last time we had this many people testing before was July-ish,” Tetteh said. “The calls we have received has been people finding out the person they interacted with recently was positive.” 

She said with Sacramento County in the purple tier and people suffering from COVID-19 fatigue, the sight at her small office on Wednesday might become the new norm.

“I have a feeling we are going to have lines like this for a while,” Tetteh said. 

Sacramento County Public Health Incident Commander Jamie White said just last week over 39,000 tests were performed in the county. 

“Drive-thru testing site at Cal Expo and in the 11 community sites, they are doing 500 tests per day. Just last month, we were down at Cal Expo to an average of less than 300,” White said. 

She added that is why following safety measures, like social distancing, wearing a face mask and limiting large gatherings, is key to stopping the spread.

For those getting a test before their Thanksgiving travel, White said it may give peace of mind but it is not a guarantee. 

“Which means you were not positive for the virus that day you took the test or you are too early on for the disease progression for it to be detected,” White explained. 

For those waiting in line to get tested, the impact of what-if isn’t going unnoticed. 

“For me, it more about not necessarily myself but I don’t want to be the person that gives it to my in-laws or family members,” said Michelle Maghari-Don, who got tested. 

Health officials also continue to warn people to get a flu shot in order to avoid a twin pandemic. 

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