MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — Health officials in Contra Costa County have ordered private health care facilities to expand COVID-19 testing and provide timely test results to essential workers, people with symptoms and those who have been exposed to the virus.
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) also urged large providers such as Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health, Sutter Health and San Ramon Regional Medical Center to allow anyone to get a COVID-19 test whether or not they have symptoms.
Last week, county Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said health providers were not providing their expected share of COVID-19 tests, noting that while half of the county’s residents are Kaiser members, Kaiser has performed only 18 percent of COVID-19 tests in the county since the pandemic began in March.
“We’re doing the large bulk of the testing in the county, and we really need our community providers to step up and do more,” Farnitano said last week.
Santa Clara County last week also issued a revised testing order requiring health care providers there to make novel coronavirus testing easier and more efficient to obtain.
CCHS recommends everyone who lives or works in the county consider a COVID-19 test whether or not they have symptoms or contact with a sick person. People working in jobs with high public contact should consider getting tested every 30 days, the county said.
“Getting a test matters, even if you feel well, because about 40 percent of people who test positive for the virus never develop clear symptoms,” said Farnitano in a press statement. “To protect yourself, your loved ones and your community, please consider getting tested regularly. It’s the only way to truly know if you are COVID-free.”
Contra Costa’s revised health order takes effect October 8. CCHS urged county residents who want COVID-19 tests to contact their health providers about how to arrange them.