Demand for COVID testing grows as Bay Area returns from holiday break

The demand for COVID-19 continues to grow as Bay Area residents return from the holiday break. 

A mass testing site at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill is set up but all the appointments are booked as of Tuesday morning.

Sister sites in Richmond and San Ramon still have appointments available.

Contra Costa County health officials recommend signing up for an appointment on the county's website.

People are testing more urgently as the CDC continues to change guidelines for quarantining and testing. 

The latest idea allows someone who tests positive to exit quarantine if they test negative after five days instead of remaining in quarantine for 10 days.

Health experts say your level of infection reduces drastically after five days and shortening quarantine can be productive for society. 

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, professor of infectious disease at UCSF, said part of the reason the CDC made the move to shorten quarantine times last week is that the amount of virus patients shed drops significantly after five days.

"The CDC's original thinking was that if you're wearing a mask and you're out and about, that risk for the vast majority of people will be zero and for a small number of people there will be a little virus, but it'll be trapped by the mask," said Chin-Hong.

People are also testing to fulfill a return to work or return to school requirement.