Over the past four months, the state-run COVID-19 testing sites' utilization has fluctuated based on the need of the community. These testing sites have seen lower utilization rates over the past few weeks which has left sites with open availability for testing. While we continue to emphasize the importance of those in higher risk environments receiving testing, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is now encouraging all community members to be tested.
The importance of getting tested for COVID-19 has never been greater. The positivity rate and case rate, two of the most vital measures in determining our County's allowance to move to the red tier, are dependent on having robust testing. When a county does not meet the State's standard for testing, it can be penalized with increased positivity rate and case rate. In an effort to achieve widespread testing, community members can in turn help Santa Barbara County protect the health and safety of our neighbors while fulfilling requirements to progress in reopening.
"We are again opening up the state-run testing sites for all community members. Testing turnaround times have greatly improved thanks to state and local efforts and we are now seeing an average turnaround time for results of under 72 hours" shared Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director. "Detecting COVID-19 remains crucial to stopping the spread of this virus and one of the best tools we have to do just that is testing."
State-run testing sites are located in Santa Maria, Buellton, and Goleta. Appointments can be made by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtestingor by calling 888-634-1123 for those with no internet access. Testing is by appointment only.