SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Reckoning with a surge in COVID-19 cases, Santa Clara County announced Friday that it’s providing more testing sites.

Like counties all over the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara County saw coronavirus cases increase exponentially over recent weeks. The announcement about testing sites came the day after the county reported 416 new COVID cases and six deaths. The county’s death toll since the pandemic’s outbreak began in February now stands at 476.

The county’s COVID-19 testing officer, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, said that testing is essential to slowing the spread of the virus as it identifies infected persons who don’t show any symptoms.

“New studies have shown that a majority of transmissions are caused by people who are asymptomatic and likely don’t know that they are potentially spreading the disease to family, coworkers, and anyone they come in contact with,” Fenstersheib said. “They need to know they have the virus so they can isolate and break the transmission chain, even if they don’t feel sick.”

The county announced both walk-up and appointment-only testing sites, with the appointment-only COVID-19 testing in Los Gatos, Mountain View, Cupertino, Campbell and Palo Alto. Residents can sign up for tests at seven days in advance of the testing date until all slots are reserved.

Appointment-based testing is also available in San José at the Fairgrounds, with appointments now available five days in advance. Testing is free at all these sites. Patients can request to receive their test results via text message.

Both drive-thru and indoor testing is available.

“I scheduled it on Monday, and I got it today,” said Pankaj Malviya, leaving the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds testing site. “So I’m happy with the way it’s been organized so far.”

The slow, steady parade of cars resumed there Friday, where, as usual, an appointment was needed.

“Most of our test sites you do need to sign up for in advance, and we did see the sights filling up through the Thanksgiving weekend,” says county spokesperson Roger Ross.

“We are asking people to stay at home and not gather as much as possible,” Ross says. “And if you did please go out and get tested.”

“Scheduled it a few days ago,” explained Brian Delue after his test. He had just visited family.

“Well I’ve come here for COVID testing because I was in Hollywood shooting my movie,” Malviya said of his testing decision. “I said, ‘well, to keep my family safe let’s come back and get tested.’”

So people are getting tested, but they’re also gathering – to some degree.

“I think it’s important to try to stay socially distanced as much as you can,” Delue says. “But at some point you do need to be with your family, and community is an important thing.”

“We saw the spike in the summer, and it was hard to get back down,” Ross explains. “The quicker we get it under control the better off we will be in the long run.”

Below is a list of testing sites from the county:

APPOINTMENT-BASED TESTING SITES – Influenza test is included.

San José
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Parking Lot A (across from the blue arch) – Drive-through, bike, and walk-up appointments
Across the street from the Fairgrounds main entrance, 344 Tully Road, San José, CA 95111
Appointments Tuesday to Friday, Dec. 1 – Dec. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be testing at the Fairgrounds this Sunday, Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Los Gatos
LGS Adult Recreation Center, 208 E. Main St., Los Gatos, 95030
By appointment only for Monday, Nov. 30, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mountain View
Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, 94041
By appointment only for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cupertino Senior Center, 21251 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, 95014
By appointment only for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Orchard City Banquet Hall (in the Campbell Community Center), 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 95008
By appointment only for Thursday, Dec. 3, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Palo Alto
Palo Alto Art Center auditorium, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, 94303
By appointment only for Friday, Dec. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

POP-UP TESTING SITES – No appointments needed and only for people without symptoms. Influenza test is not included.

San José
Emmanuel Baptist Church, 467 N. White Road, San Jose, 95127
Tuesday to Friday, Dec. 1 – Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road, San Jose, 95122
Friday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

South County Annex (formerly Del Buono Elementary) – 9300 Wren Ave., Gilroy, 95020
Tuesday to Friday, Dec. 1 – Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.