Big Drop in Coronavirus Testing in Santa Clara County

As the nation ramps up the COVID-19 vaccine operations there is another concern — the number of people showing up to get tested has dropped dramatically and the fear is people are becoming complacent because the vaccine has arrived.

The testing site at Mt. Pleasant High School seems desolate at times, where there used to be lines, nurses are now waiting for patients to show up.

The Gonzalez family was the exception to the new trend.

“We just wanted to feel safer. Wanted to know if we’re positive. We’re always going out to get food at the store. So just wanted t know.,” said David Gonzalez.

But across the Bay Area, it seems fewer people are showing up to get tested and that worries the experts.

“I’m concerned that people may think they don’t need to continue being tested,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib of the Santa Clara County Vaccine and Testing Officer. “I want to urge people to continue testing.”

He said it’s not the time to get complacent. Not when the variants are making their rounds, and not when the nation is so close to the covid finish line.

“Sometimes with all the excitement about the vaccine people forget all the other tools we have in the toolbox, and testing is one of them to keep ourselves safe,” said Dr. Fenstersheib.

Community leaders are also concerned knowing how much effort they put into public education on the importance of ongoing testing.

“We can’t let our guard down. We have to continue to follow CDC guidelines, wearing our masks,” said Santa Clara County councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco.

She worries because so many of her constituents are essential workers who are almost constantly with the public.

“Now is not the time to ease upon anything,” said Dr. Fenstersheib, who said people need to mask up and social distance. And remember to test frequently especially if you have to interact with the public.

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