As Demand For COVID-19 Tests Rise, Delays Drive Some Away

Kaiser Permanente Opens Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing Station In San Francisco
Photo credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Now that California is administering more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests per day, long lines are forming at testing sites across the state, including here in the Bay Area.

“I think all of us have these random coughs, or sneezes or runny noses or whatever and especially in this climate you’re like, ‘oh no, what if I have a really really mild case of COVID?’” said Andrew Hsieh of Sunnyvale. 

He also wants to visit family, and felt it would be safer to get a test before interacting with others. 

So on Wednesday, he went to a free testing site at Independence High School in San Jose. The site was scheduled to open at 1 p.m. 

“And I was like, ‘oh I can just show up at 12:45 and it’ll be okay.’ And it wasn’t okay,” he said. The line had wrapped around the entire school and far out into the parking lot. “People had been waiting there for two hours before it started and the line was quite long.”

He waited for 45 minutes before he had to leave without a test. The free testing site is popular among people from underserved communities.

“Just made me think like, who gets access to this stuff? Who actually gets to be tested at a really fast rate?” he asked.

Hsieh still intends to get tested before visiting family, but that will have to wait a little longer.