coronavirus testing

Contra Costa County Ramps Up COVID-19 Testing Before Thanksgiving

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At least one Bay Area county is taking a drastic step to make sure everyone has access to coronavirus testing -- they are no longer giving flu shots and focusing only on testing for COVID-19.

Many Contra Costa County travelers are still wondering if they can join family for Thanksgiving and it all depends on how quickly they want test results and how much money they’re willing to spend for them.

Nobody likes the feeling of getting a nasal swab test, but for the sake of her kids at home and mom who has leukemia, Nicole Margarey said she saw a sign at the Oakland International Airport and decided it was the right thing to do after her birthday trip to Portland. 

“Whatever it costs, I was going to do it at home anyways,” she said. 

Some results take only 20 minutes if you’re willing to pay extra, but other free testing results require up to 72 hours and that’s cutting it too close for Thanksgiving. 

Cal student Nicole Kim knows there’s a risk boarding the plane but can’t resist going home, plus she said her test on campus was negative last week. 

“I haven’t seen them since February,” Kim said. “I’m being as safe as I can, they are too.”

A couple from Phoenix, returning home after spending a week in Wine Country, says they haven’t taken COVID-19 tests, but they are cautious. 

“We’re going to double mask and use hand sanitizer,” said Lina and Jerry Patti. “Not afraid.”

Contra Costa County says COVID tests are available for those who are symptomatic and first responders. While existing appointments have been fully booked at all test sites this past month, the county said new appointments are created each morning, meaning if you're willing to travel to different parts of the county, you should still be able to book an appointment.

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