Santa Clara County COVID-19 testing rate drops by 34%

Santa Clara County health officials are encouraging residents to get tested for the coronavirus as testing rates have drooped by 34 percent in the last 2 months.

Health officials say testing is critical to understanding where the region stands in the pandemic, particularly as new variants continue to circulate in the region.

"If we are not testing robustly in the community, it narrows our view of where the virus is circulating, and to what level it is spreading. Testing also allows us to break the chains of transmission and reduce spread, which gives the virus less opportunities to replicate and mutate," said county COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib in a statement.. 

County public health officials continue urging community members to practice social distancing and consistently wear face coverings, even if vaccinated.

For those who may have been exposed to the virus, testing remains free, easy, and confidential. It is available seven days a week and there are a number of options for different needs, including appointment or drop-in, drive-through or walk-up, and specimen collection by nasal swab or saliva. Frontline workers should get tested at least once a month and up to once every two weeks, and continue testing even after being vaccinated.

Testing will be available next week in San Jose, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Campbell and Palo Alto.