SAN LUIS OBISPO — As demand for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing increases in San Luis Obispo County, the County Public Health Department asks residents to only get tested if they are at high risk for transmission or serious illness related to the disease.

The current volume of asymptomatic, low/no-risk individuals getting tested has cut the capacity of the public testing sites in San Luis Obispo County to test essential workers, healthcare workers, symptomatic individuals, those who have had confirmed exposure, or individuals at high risk.

“We are back to a point where we need to prioritize testing supplies to only those who are at high risk for getting COVID-19 or getting seriously ill from the disease,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Over the past few weeks, the demand for public testing has been on the rise. At the same time, high-risk residents are telling us they now have to wait eight or more days to get a testing appointment.”

High-risk individuals who should get tested include:

• Hospitalized patients

• Symptomatic and exposed asymptomatic health care workers and first responders

• Symptomatic individuals age 65 and older or symptomatic individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness

• Individuals who are tested as part of disease control efforts in a high-risk setting

• Asymptomatic residents and employees of congregate living facilities when needed to prevent disease transmission

• Symptomatic individuals in essential occupations

• Other individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19

“Help us use our testing resources wisely,” Dr. Borenstein. “If you are an asymptomatic, lower risk individual, please do not seek a test at this time to help those who are most vulnerable get tested.”

Individuals who are unable to schedule an appointment at the public testing sites should contact their primary care provider or local urgent care centers.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.

Publisher’s Note: The Paso Robles Press and The Atascadero News will continue to provide updates and publish releases from the County Public Health Department regarding COVID-19 as it relates to the county residents for informational purposes. No information presented should be construed as medical advice or a suggestion as to how to respond in the protection of either your personal health or your personal freedoms. Each of our readers are expected to research as needed to inform themselves about their individual health needs and responsibilities. Our County Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein, is an MD with a Masters in Public Health.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles