All county residents can register for an appointment to be tested for COVID-19 in Paso Robles, whether or not they have symptoms, County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said.
The Paso Robles testing site has the capacity to test 132 people a day. The site has not been filling all of their appointment slots, so they opened up testing to individuals who do not have symptoms, Borenstein said.
There are two testing facilities in San Luis Obispo, one is located at the Paso Robles Veterans Hall and the other is at the Ramona Garden Community Center in Grover Beach.
Each appointment takes approximately five minutes and requires residents who signed up to physically walk into the facility for testing.
Patients must register for an appointment online or by phone before arriving at the testing site.
“The subcontractor performing the tests is promising a turn around of 48 hours for test results,” county spokesperson Michelle Shoresman wrote in an email. The results will be distributed digitally or over the phone. A person who tested positive for the virus will only be notified by phone, Shoresman said.
Insurance information will be collected during registration, but the tests will be free of charge. Even patients without medical insurance can still receive COVID-19 testing since it is not required.
“We continue to try to make more testing available and will be setting up some more testing throughout the county,” Shoresman said.
There are currently two different methods of testing for COVID-19. One is a nasal swab test currently available in San Luis Obispo county which detects whether a person currently has the virus, according to health officials.
The other method is an antibody blood test, which tells if a person has ever contracted the virus and can determine if the person’s immune system mounted a defense against the virus.
Antibody testing is not currently available in the county. It will not be used in the county until it is deemed reliable to be widely distributed to the public, according to local health officials.
Ethan Telles contributed to this story.