County expands COVID-19 testing to meet demand caused by Omicron


Last updated 1/28/2022 at 12:03pm

Katie Cadiao

County of San Diego Communications Office

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is continuing to expand regional COVID-19 testing to meet the increased demand brought on by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. The County has a network of free testing sites, both walk-up and appointment-based.

The newest testing center is a site at Palomar YMCA in Escondido that can provide up to 800 tests a day, Monday to Friday. New appointments are made available daily and can be booked up to three days in advance.

However, County-operated test sites are not the only testing option in the region. Local health care providers offer testing to members who meet each systems’ criteria. Many neighborhood pharmacies offer same-day testing as do some local clinics.

Rapid antigen tests, which are available for purchase at many local pharmacies, are a good option if a testing site is unavailable.

The federal government rolled out a program last week that allows every residential household in the United States to order up to four at-home COVID-19 test kits free of charge. Tests can be ordered online at Those ordering the test kits need only provide a name and address. No ID, credit card, or health insurance information is required.

Avoid hospitals for COVID testing

Meanwhile, San Diegans should continue to avoid local emergency departments for COVID-19 testing. Area hospitals are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as staff shortages due to the coronavirus and are preserving their resources for patients who are seriously ill.

The County recommends that people worried about COVID-19 infection and others seeking COVID-19 testing go to a hospital to be tested only if they have severe symptoms.


● 24 new deaths were reported since the last report on Jan. 12, 2022. The region’s total is 4,553.

● 11 women and 13 men died between Dec. 15, 2021 and Jan. 13, 2022.

● 11 were 80 or older, four were in their 70s, six were in their 60s, one was in their 50s, one was in their 40s and one was in their 20s.

● One of the people who died was fully vaccinated and 23 were not fully vaccinated.

● 20 had underlying medical conditions and four had medical history pending.

Cases, hospitalizations, case rates and testing:

● 9,382 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county on Jan. 18, 2022. The region’s total is now 613,632.

● 69,151 COVID-19 cases were reported last week (Jan. 12 through Jan. 18, 2022) compared to 85,659 cases identified the previous week (Jan. 5 through Jan. 11, 2022).

● During the 30-day period between Dec. 7, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022 there were 729 COVID-19 hospitalizations; 419 people were not fully vaccinated and 310 were fully vaccinated.

● San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 209.7 overall, 173.3 for fully vaccinated people and 283.2 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

● 41,506 tests were reported to the county on Jan. 18, 2022, and the percentage of new positive cases was 22.6%.

● The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 26.4%.

Community setting outbreaks:

● 32 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days (Jan. 12, 2022 through Jan. 18, 2022): 20 in TK-12th grade school settings, four in government settings, two in business settings, two in college/university settings, one in a daycare/preschool/childcare setting, one in an emergency services setting, one in a healthcare setting and one in a hotel/resort/spa setting.

● The community outbreaks trigger is more than seven in a 7-day period.


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