Santa Clara County officials don’t believe local hospitals have done enough to boost COVID-19 testing in the region, so now they’re making it mandatory.
Under a new order released Wednesday, large health systems in the county will be required to test a broad range of patients. That includes those with symptoms, anyone with close contact to someone who tested positive for the virus and those without symptoms, but who have jobs that put them into contact with a lot of people.
It’s an effort to get Santa Clara County closer to its 4,000 test per day goal.
Dr. Fenstersheib is leading the effort to boost testing. He believes the county will not hit its goal without help from county-leading institutions like Stanford and Kaiser.
"They’re just not doing it to the level we really need in this county to be able to move forward and not see the hospital beds still up and ICUs still up to back a really, really effective containment strategy," Dr. Fenstersheib said.
The county is recommending anyone who attended recent protests to get tested three to five days after possible exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms.
"Just as we expect all health care providers to test their patients for other communicable diseases and conditions that put their health at risk, healthcare providers need to test their patients for COVID-19," Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a release. "Many healthcare providers have already stepped up to meet this expectation, and we are grateful for their partnership as we all work to reduce severe illness and death from COVID-19."
Over the past seven days, county health officials said between 850 and 3,500 tests have been administered per day in the county, with an average of 2,354 tests per day.
That’s 120 tests per 100,000 residents.
In response to the story, both Stanford and Kaiser released the following statements to KCBS Radio:
Watch the county's announcement below.