Three state-run COVID-19 testing sites opened across San Diego County Tuesday with reports of hours-long delays for the patients waiting to find out if they have the novel coronavirus.
The testing sites -- at Grossmont College ( 8800 Grossmont College Dr., El Cajon), in Chula Vista (565 Broadway, Chula Vista) and the County's Live Well Center in Escondido (649 W Mission Ave., Escondido) -- were the first public health testing sites available in San Diego County that did not require a referral from a doctor.
Appointments were required though via the website here, but reports of double booking and computer issues, at least at the Escondido location, made for long lines on Tuesday.
"Yesterday, we predicted they could have some hiccups, some bumps in the road, some difficulty with their first day of operation. Those predictions, unfortunately, turned out to be true," County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in the county's daily press briefing. "They did have some logistical challenges, some staffing challenges in getting those up in running."
NBC 7 Reporter Allison Ash recorded an announcement via loudspeaker that notified patients, some that had been waiting about two to three hours, of the delays.
The testing sites are managed by the California Department of Public Health and were opened to help the county increase COVID-19 testing capacity to its goal of 5,100 tests per day.
Fletcher said that hundreds of tests were able to be completed on Tuesday.
Testing is the 5th criteria in the federal government's five-step plan to "Opening Up America Again" and is the only one that San Diego County has yet to meet, according to Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten.
In addition to the state-run testing sites, the county still has its own testing sites available with a doctor referral at SDCCU Stadium and the Live Well Center in Chula Vista.
A new Live Well Mobile Office was also opened over the weekend to serve Southeastern San Diego. The county is also utilizing the public library's bookmobiles for testing that can be moved to the communities that need it the most.
Appointments for county-run testing sites can be made through your primary care provider or by calling 2-1-1 if you do not have a physician.