COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the state, testing becomes a challenge again


FRESNO COUNTY, California (KSEE) – As COVID-19 cases continue to sky-rocket across the state, it seems testing has become a challenge once again. 

The California State Health and Human Services department says they are working with healthcare providers to help with testing.

They say the state testing sites are seeing an influx in people and labs are overwhelmed. 

“Moving as much testing as possible to these providers or to local labs we can increase access to testing and be able to identify the patients who meet the highest testing priority, that will help us focus on the highest risk Californians,” said Secretary Castro Ramirez.

The state says the new guidelines when it comes to testing is broken down to those who have symptoms and those who do not.

“We have experienced an increased in testing turn around time, as the surges across the nation have created challenges of getting test processed not just collected and insuring that our guidelines not only say who needs to be tested but give some guidance to labs on which specimens to process first,” Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. 

Here in Fresno County, appointments at the state testing sites at Fresno City College or the Sanger Community Center are about a week out.

The Fresno County Public Health Department says these testing sites are two of the most utilized in the state.

A reason why they say walk-ups are limited. The health department says these sites are nearing 100 percent booked because everyone is now getting tested, which is causing a delay in results.

“The asymptomatic folks could still get their testing done although they may have to wait a little while longer because we have to test the symptomatic people,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, interim health officer at the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

The state says they recumbent those that have insurance to contact their primary doctors offices to get tested and to save the state testing sites for those who do not have insurance. 

“That then will help us allow statewide testing efforts with Optumserve and verily, our partners in the community doing community based testing in both brick and mortar testing sites and also mobile testing sites to reach disproportionately impacted communities,” Ghaly said.

The County says if you have insurance and go to one of the “free” testing sites, they will most likely bill your insurance first and if you have a co-pay you will most likely get a bill for it in the mail.

Visit the Fresno County Department of Public Health for Clinic and Federally Qualified Health Center Testing Sites . Please call to schedule an appointment and verify insurance details.

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