Gov. Newsom Activates CA National Guard to Support COVID-19 Testing Capacity

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Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he will activate the California National Guard to help local communities amid the COVID-19 surge.

In a statement, the governor's office said that over 200 Cal Guard members will be "deployed across 50 Optum Serve Sites to increase access to testing quickly, increase staff and add walk-in capacity beginning today and throughout the coming weeks."

A spokesperson for the governor said the following testing sites in San Diego County are now receiving assistance from members of the National Guard and expanded operations on Friday.

They include:

  • 5330 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92110
  • 1301 Oleander Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911
  • 200 S Magnolia Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
  • 649 W Mission Ave, Escondido, CA 92025
  • 1221 D Ave, National City, CA 91950
  • 3708 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Oceanside, CA 92056

Twelve soldiers and airmen are in the San Diego County region as of Saturday, Maj. Kara Greene with the National Guard told NBC 7. If the troops are not medics, they will be helping out with traffic control, administrative duties such as processing residents and overall site management.

Additional members of the guard will be deployed next week in similar capacities. 

This comes after local county health officials urged the public Friday to not only get all vaccinations and the booster but to only seek testing for the illness if necessary.

According to county data, in the past month, confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped from around 4,700 per week to more than 45,000 cases reported in the seven days between Dec. 29, 2021, through Tuesday. That is nearly a tenfold increase in just 30 days.

This story is developing. Check back for updates

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