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COVID-19 Testing


Last updated 9/7/2021 at 10:30am

As COVID-19 cases surge, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has reopened testing sites across the county.

Fast Facts

- Testing sites are managed by the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.

- The county has also deployed mobile testing sites in an effort to make testing widely available for priority populations.

- The county recommends people with and without symptoms who are at higher risk for COVID-19 should be tested. Healthcare and essential workers should also get a test, as well as people who had close contact with a positive case or live in communities that are being highly impacted, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

- Testing results generally come back in 1 – 2 days

- While you’re waiting for your results, stay home if you are experiencing symptoms

- If you are unvaccinated and your results come back positive, or if you were around someone who tested positive, you should stay home and self-isolate.

Borrego Health offers Testing: Locally, according to Dr. Edgar Bulloch, CEO, Borrego Health is continuing to offer testing at the clinic.

“For COVID testing, we are scheduling telehealth visits for the first assessment. We try as hard as we can to get them on same day (we are usually successful 99% of the time). If testing is indicated we bring them in for that. The courier for the lab does a pick-up at 2 p.m. so ideally testing is done before then.”

Dr. Bulloch also suggests that continued masking is still a good idea, even if vaccinated. “In San Diego county at this time there is an increased inter-season activity of another common virus called RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Continued use of masking can decrease transmission of pathogens other than COVID, as well.”

“If anyone has any symptoms of respiratory illness it is important to be seen by a provider. They can determine what other tests need to be ordered if necessary.

“Just as an additional resource, Binax now, which is a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 is now sold over the counter at pharmacies. The tests are very straightforward and easy to interpret.

“A reminder, we are still vaccinating at the clinic,” he added.

Many people are mistaking their coronavirus symptoms for non-urgent health issues because symptoms of the Delta variant vary from other strains. A sore throat is a common sign of a sinus infection and allergies, but doctors say you should now get tested for COVID if you have this symptom or think you have a sinus infection.

A major problem with breakthrough infections is that these symptoms are typically much less severe in vaccinated individuals, which means they may be even more likely to wait to get tested. Sore throat is also now one of the five most frequently reported virus symptoms for those unvaccinated as well.

According to the researchers, this shows some clear “changes from when COVID-19 first appeared over a year ago.” The other common symptoms for unvaccinated people during the Delta surge include headache, runny nose, fever, and persistent cough.

By the time that it gets severe enough that someone decides to go get a COVID test, they may have spread it to multiple people, because a couple of days have passed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fully vaccinated people can still spread the virus if they have been infected with the Delta variant, though they are likely to be infectious for a shorter period of time than unvaccinated people.

“Previous variants typically produced less virus in the body of infected fully vaccinated people (breakthrough infections) than in unvaccinated people. In contrast, the Delta variant seems to produce the same high amount of virus in both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people,” the CDC said.

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