Several State-Run COVID Testing Sites In SD County To Shutter In Coming Weeks

January 15, 2023

County health officials are preparing Friday for the closure of several state COVID-19 testing and treatment centers in San Diego County, which are scheduled for late February.

The state-backed testing/treatment site in Escondido is scheduled to close this week and that in El Cajon the following week, both because demand at the sites has become so low, according to a county release.

The California Department of Health closed its testing center in National City last week for the same reasons. San Diegos will continue to be able to get tested at three county-contracted locations, local pharmacies and their healthcare providers, and the four remaining local state locations until they close on February 25.

People can also get free home COVID-19 tests at the county’s six public health centers, many local libraries — check with your library if they have any — and the federal government through the mail.

“We want all San Diego residents to know that there are many ways to get tested, get tested, get treatment, and get vaccinated no matter where you are in the county,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, district health officer. “If you’re experiencing symptoms and want to get tested for COVID-19 and find treatment if you’re positive or if you just want to have COVID-19 home testing available as a precaution, access is available and you have options.”

COVID-19 cases are down slightly this week. However, health officials are still monitoring sewage tests and say they are seeing increasing virus levels, which could be a sign of a possible spike in cases. Cases of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus infections continue to decline.

A total of 3,344 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county in the past seven days, compared to 4,684 the week before. The cumulative number of cases is now 970,479.

In addition, 21 San Diego residents died from the virus in the past week. Of these, 17 were aged 65 or older and 14 were vaccinated.

The number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals has fallen by 37 to 378, according to the latest state figures.

Of the patients hospitalized on Friday, 44 were being treated in intensive care, three more than the day before.

There were 221 beds available in the intensive care unit on Friday, 16 fewer than on Thursday.

San Diego County has the second-highest number of coronavirus patients in the state, behind Los Angeles County at 1,053.

COVID-19 vaccines, including bivalent boosters, and influenza vaccines have been widely available from local medical providers and pharmacies. The county continues to offer vaccinations across the region at its vaccination sites. Check online for the days and hours that locations are open.

The COVID vaccines don’t necessarily prevent people from contracting or transmitting the virus, but health officials say they offer protection against serious symptoms and possible death.

According to an HHSA report, 80.5% of eligible San Diego residents received their two-shot primary series and 21.6% of all eligible San Diego residents ages 5 and older received the new bivalent booster shot.

Flu numbers are declining, with three additional deaths and 338 cases reported in the past week, compared to one death and 646 cases the previous week. The county’s cumulative total rose to 33 deaths and 20,379 infections – compared to 1,389 at the same time last season and a 4,317 earlier 5-year average in the same week.

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