SLO County urges those with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested

Apr 6, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County has slowed in recent days, say county health officials, but they are urging people with symptoms to get tested.

County health officer Penny Borenstein said Monday afternoon she suspects the reported decrease in cases is because many people with mild symptoms aren’t seeking out testing for COVID-19, she said the county has increased testing capacity.

“We think that perhaps the public has ceased even trying to get a test because early on, the message was we don’t have enough tests, we don’t have enough tests,” Borenstein said.

Borenstein said the public health department no longer requires healthcare providers to screen for other illnesses first, and reminds residents the tests will be performed free of cost, regardless of whether or not you have insurance. Those with symptoms but without a healthcare provider are urged to go to the nearest urgent care center.

“We pushed out to our healthcare clinics, healthcare practitioners this week that they no longer need to check in with Public Health,” Borenstein said. “If they order a test we will do the test.”

Borenstein said she recommends people get tested even if they are experiencing mild symptoms, but says people who are experiencing no symptoms won't have immediate access to tests.