By Kiet Do

HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — With the Bay Area seeing an increase in cases and the number of people wanting to get tested for the coronavirus, a free testing site in Hayward has been seeing more people showing up each day than it can handle.

The free testing site at Hayward Drive was the first free site to open in the Bay Area. While last week they were testing well under the sites capacity, this week, they are having to turn people away.

The line of cars at the site was already stretching a quarter mile down the road just before the scheduled 9 a.m. opening.

Daniel Cambido was back for the second morning in a row after getting turned away Wednesday when the line was closed off just after 12 p.m. Normal closing time for the site is 4 p.m.

Cambido arrived at 7 a.m. two hours before the site opened to avoid making that same mistake again.

“I think what’s happening is the media. They’re basically saying every morning — every day now — it’s spreading everywhere,” said Cambido. “And so everyone is taking it more seriously.”

The Hayward testing site has a capacity of 500 tests per day.

Hayward Fire Deputy Chief Eric Vollmer said news coverage of the national and local surge in new cases could be making people worried and anxious.
But the surge in testing might be tied into the reopening last month.

“With the June 19 reopening Alameda County went through, there are businesses that are opening,” said Vollmer. “And we are hearing from some of these people that their employer is asking that they get a test before they come to work, in the hopes that they get a negative test.”

One person trying to get the free test told KPIX 5 he was waiting in line for three hours.

Abel Garcia is a sheet metal worker. Last week, a co-worker tested positive for coronavirus.

“So now everybody at work is worried, so we need to get tested,” said Garcia. “Thanks to God I’ve been working, but I’m worried about my family. I worry about all this, so it’s worth it to wait at least three hours.”