As vaccine distribution rolls out and positive case numbers increase another issue people are having is finding availability at free testing sites. NBC Palm Springs spoke to health officials on what you can do if you are unable to make an appointment.
“We are testing more than 600 people per 100,000 which is way beyond anything we’ve done before,” said Jose Arballo, Senior Public Information Specialist with Riverside County.
People looking to make an appointment online and get tested will notice limited to no availability. There are three testing sites run by the company Curative in The Coachella Valley. The Rancho Mirage location at the library has the most availability with the option to make an appointment a week ahead of time.
Other testing sites like The Indio Fairgrounds and The La Quinta Wellness Center show few open slots if any at all.
“What you see on the site, there is definitely a strong demand for testing, which is good, people are wanting to get tested and so this resource provides that ready access but we have seen that once appointments are made available, within about a couple of hours their fully booked,” said Chris Escobedo, Director of Community Resources with the City of La Quinta.
For those who are not able to secure a testing slot, walk-up service is available in Rancho Mirage and Indio and will be expanding in early January.
“We’re going to be increasing the number of appointments available so that there is more capacity. we are looking at potentially having it be a walk-in down the road sometime in January, but at this point, there’s other sites in Indio and Rancho Mirage where they can receive walk-up service,” added Escobedo.
And for health officials, the message as we end the holiday season remains the same.
“We don’t encourage people to get tested just for the sake of getting tested and to try and ease your concerns about getting together with family and friends for the new years, are advised for the new years is very clear, stay home,” said Arballo.