San Mateo County health officials are urging residents to get tested and vaccinated for COVID-19, especially those who are planning to travel or anticipate a return to in-person schooling.
Health officials attribute the increase to holiday gatherings and the Omicron variant, which is more contagious. The risk of community transmission of COVID-19 is currently very high, with more than 2,000 new cases in San Mateo County since last week -- including the Omicron variant.
"More people are infectious and spreading the virus indoors," Dr. Curtis Chan, the county's deputy health officer, said. "Taking these steps -- limiting close contacts, wearing a mask indoors to prevent getting infected and infecting others, isolating when symptomatic, and getting tested -- can reduce the likelihood of severe COVID affecting you, your family and community."
Health officials said there are two types of COVID-19 testing: rapid antigen tests, which return results quickly, and polymerase chain reaction tests, or PCR, which typically return results within 72 hours although times may vary depending on demand.
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San Mateo County only offers PCR testing at 10 sites, which it operates through contracted providers Curative and LHI/OptumServe. The county is not distributing rapid antigen tests to the general public or to cities.
To see a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in San Mateo County, visit smcgov.com/testing.