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COVID-19 Test Site Opens In Chula Vista Where Cases Remain High

An emergency medical technician carries a canopy tent past a table with perso...

Photo by Jacob Aere

Above: An emergency medical technician carries a canopy tent past a table with personal protective equipment outside South Chula Vista Library, Oct. 5, 2020.

A new, free COVID-19 testing site opened Sunday at the South Chula Vista Library.

The drive-up site will be open Sundays through Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

Mary Casillas Salas, mayor of Chula Vista, said the new testing facility is part of an effort to expand testing options and address the continuing high number of cases in South County.

“Increased testing in Chula Vista and surrounding communities is important because the coronavirus case rates continue to be higher in the South County zip codes,” she said.

Chula Vista has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. So has the city’s majority Latino community.

Reported by Jacob Aere

Nick Macchione, San Diego County’s director of Health and Human Services, said Latinos in the region have been testing positive for COVID-19 at alarming rates.

“Latinos make up about 34% of our county. Yet 66%, thereabout, of our positive cases are Latinos,” he said. “That is disproportionate. That is alarming.”

Chula Vista is using CARES funding to staff the site with EMTs and city staff who will work together to coordinate the diagnostic testing.

The drive-through testing process takes approximately 5-10 minutes and is completed from inside your car.

Roberto Alcantar is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Chicano Federation and he said adding testing sites for COVID-19 is just one part of the equation.

“We’re optimistic that this is one step forward,” Alcantar said. "But again it has to be combined with not just having a site, but also doing the right amount of outreach and working with the local community partners that are the trusted messengers in the Latino community.”

According to KPBS COVID-19 tracker, the new library testing site falls within the 91911 zip code where more than 2,400 cases have been recorded to date. That is the second-highest case count for any ZIP code in San Diego County, only behind the 92154 zip code in Otay Mesa.

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Aired: October 6, 2020 | Transcript

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated the testing center opened on Monday, October 5.

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Photo of Jacob Aere

Jacob Aere
Freelance Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter. In addition to covering the latest news and issues relevant to San Diego, I seek the overlooked voices of our community to tell their stories.

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