SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — San Joaquin County opened a new COVID-19 testing site as more people rushed to get tested after the holidays.
According to state data, the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate is now 28%. California’s statewide seven-day average is at 22%.
“I know a lot of people are getting tested now,” said Sara Kenkel, who was waiting in line to get tested Monday. “It’s actually moving a little bit faster than I expected.”
Drivers like Kenkel moved steadily through the new drive-thru testing site at the San Joaquin Agricultural Center.
“I’m glad this site opened. I learned about it from my neighbor,” Kenkel said.
Kenkel and her daughter were just two out of the thousands of people looking to get tested in the weeks following the holidays.
“It’s spreading like wildfire now,” Kenkel said. “I do feel like testing there should be seven days a week testing versus just weekdays.”
The center opened Monday morning, offering both rapid and PCR tests as the omicron variant spreads throughout the county.
“We’ve seen a rapid increase in testing and those that have been positive in the last week or two, so it has increased a lot faster than it did this time last year,” said San Joaquin County of Office Emergency Services spokeswoman Tiffany Heyer.
Heyer said people are getting tested for a variety of reasons.
“We had a lot of school staff that were required to test. We have a lot of private businesses that were requiring their employees to get tested before going back to work. People that were out traveling and visiting with family and friends,” Heyer said.
The center is the 19th location in the county, and Heyer said they plan to open more sites soon. In the meantime, she asked people to be patient.
“We’re looking at some sites to add for weekends, expanding hours a little bit later into the days, adding a few more locations where we see higher demands,” Heyer said.
Despite the long lines, the county said they appreciate everyone who is taking the time to get tested.
“We want people to know whether or not they actually are positive or negative. And people sitting and waiting in lines just shows that they’re still concerned and wanting to take care of themselves, their family, their friends, their neighbors,” Heyer told FOX40.
“I kind of feel like everyone’s going to get it at some point, but if we can do our part to minimize it and slow the spread as much as possible,” Kenkel said.
The agricultural center testing site will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The county said they are waiting on at-home testing kits to be delivered from the state that they will then distribute to the cities that can get those out into the community.
Click or tap here for more COVID-19 testing sites in San Joaquin County.