COVID-19 testing in Contra Costa County nearly doubles pandemic peak amid omicron surge

File of pop-up COVID-19 testing site at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. 

Contra Costa County is testing almost twice as many people for COVID-19 than any other time during the pandemic, county health services director Anna Roth told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.   

The county is administering about 15,000 tests per day. Before the latest surge, the high was 8,400. 

"Depending on how you're counting, this is either the fifth wave or the sixth wave, but we are clearly in a surge now," Roth said.   

Active daily cases, which have been rising since November with the arrival of the omicron variant, are currently at a seven-day average of 2,320 a day, Roth said. County officials are just starting to see those numbers stabilize.   

But that's in a county nearly 80 percent vaccinated -- 79.3 as of Tuesday -- well above the national average of 74.9. And because of the availability of home tests, which are selling as fast as area stores can get them, more positive cases go unreported, because they're not severe enough to require hospitalization.   

Roth said, of reported cases in Contra Costa, 362.2 cases per 100,000 people are among unvaccinated people, 235 in vaccinated people without a booster, and 107 are among people who got a booster.   "So we're really encouraging you to get your vaccination," Roth said. "It makes a huge difference."   

Roth said appointments are available all over the county and can be made at on the county website here. There's also a link to the national website to receive free tests in the mail. 

Contra Costa County has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 tests and more than a million vaccinations. "These kind of numbers are a testament to our community really stepping forward and doing everything they can to protect themselves and each other," Roth said.

KTVU contributed to this story.