Santa Clara County Officials Tout Improved COVID Testing, Encourage Residents To Get Tested

Kaiser Permanente Opens Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing Station In San Francisco
Photo credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

It has been a learning process, but officials in Santa Clara County say things are much improved when it comes to coronavirus testing.

One of the county’s latest initiatives to boost testing is a partnership with the San Jose Earthquakes. The team gave away Earthquakes-branded face masks to the first 400 people to get a test at one of the county’s free testing sites in East San Jose on Friday.

“We know that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain areas of the county and people in our community, and one of them is here on the east side,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez at the testing site at Mt. Pleasant High School. “The zip code we’re in right now is 95127 and has more residents that have tested positive for COVID than the cities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Saratoga combined.”

Jed Mettee, VP of the SJ Earthquakes said the location of the mask giveaway was important to the team. “We have a lot of players from backgrounds in Mexico, Argentina, that identify closely with many of the members of the community on the east side.”

The testing drive came as county officials say tests have become more readily available.

“I think we’ve moved from about 1,000 tests earlier in the spring and now we’ve gone up to maybe 6-7,000 tests a day on a good day,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, who is leading the county’s testing efforts. “It’s smoother and we’re learning as we go.”

The county has struggled with the supply of COVID-19 tests and at times, patients at free testing sites have had to wait hours in line.

“We want to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Mettee. “And hopefully soon we can all come back together and enjoy Earthquakes games, enjoy other events together if we all follow the guidelines that were laid out.”