Testing and contact tracing are critical in slowing the spread of coronavirus. But coronavirus testing in Riverside County is in high demand.
Sites are seeing delays of three days to a week for appointments and that’s not the worst part, the county says those getting tested will not get their results for at least seven to nine days.
“By the time our contact tracers get the information the patient who is positive would have been going more than ten days from the point where they were tested,” says Jose Arballo Jr., senior public information officer for Riverside County Public Health adding that in those 10 days, people that tested positive may have unknowingly exposed even more people, “something that’s risky because they may not know they’re positive and have been making more contact with other people.”
Quick results matter as our county positivity rate has climbed to 20 percent, ICU capacity bounces between 90 to 100 percent, factors that forced the state to shut down more business. The state’s says the positivity rate must be lower than 8 percent and there must be at least 20 percent ICU capacity.
So when we will be allowed to reopen?
“The numbers are the ones that are going to tell the story in the end it’s not a matter of days or weeks it’s a matter what the numbers will eventually show,” says Arballo.
And even if our numbers do go down it may take weeks before we see action from the state.
“We’re getting test results back so delayed that the numbers aren’t representative of that particular day,” he says.
That’s why wearing our masks, social distancing and washing our hands often to avoid getting sick will be the key in healing our county.
“Imagine if you could take a medicine that was 95 percent effective, you would take that medicine, in this case we’re saying do those three things and you could have a 95 percent success rate in stopping the spread,” says Arballo.