New rule: Appointments needed for rapid tests at Contra Costa County sites
on December 24, 2021
Contra Costa Health Services is now requiring appointments for COVID-19 rapid tests at its Richmond and San Ramon sites until further notice, as demand for the tests brought lines to testing centers this week.
With the winter holidays coinciding with the arrival of the omicron variant in Contra Costa County, people have been flocking to Health Services test sites at 25th Street and Nevin Avenue in Richmond and at 2600 Camino Ramon in San Ramon, hoping to get tested ahead of family gatherings.
The free county tests have been popular, with home kits being in high demand and short supply at local pharmacies. About 14,000 antigen test kits have been distributed through Contra Costa supervisors’ offices and other county sites, according to a Thursday Health Services news release. It noted that about 14,000 more kits are expected in the county next week from the state Department of Public health.
Contra Costa Health Services reported Monday that the omicron variant had officially arrived, with three county residents testing positive for the highly contagious variant. Health officials say vaccinations with a booster shot can sharply reduce the likelihood of getting seriously ill with the omicron or delta variants.
According to the Monday news release, none of the three people who tested positive for omicron had the booster shot, though two were fully vaccinated. None of the three needed hospitalization.
As of Friday. 78% of the county population has been vaccinated.
The county had nearly 1,800 active COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 40 people hospitalized with the virus. That’s an increase of about 300 infections since the start of the week.
Health Services’ testing sites are not open on Friday or Saturday because of the Christmas holiday, or next Friday and Saturday because of the New Year’s holiday.
Appointments for tests at the Richmond, San Ramon, Antioch, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill and San Pablo sites can be made online or by calling 833-829-2626.
More information is at coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested.
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