Free virus tests now available at San Ysidro border crossing

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — A new county testing site for the coronavirus opened at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro Wednesday, helping assure that people using one of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossings are doing so safely.

The walk-up tests are on offer near the PedEast entrance from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The tests are free and people can typically expect results in 3 to 5 days, health officials say.

County Supervisor Greg Cox says essential workers coming into the United States from Mexico and returning U.S. citizens can be tested at the appointment-free, walk-up site. Officials expect to do about 200 tests daily.

The South Bay has been San Diego’s hardest hit region during the coronavirus pandemic, and county officials say it’s crucial to protect people who live and work on either side of the border, crossing daily.

“It’s really about accessibility. We try to ensure that we’re meeting those needs in each of our communities. We know this is a very fluid border — a very busy border,” said Barbara Jimenez, with the county’s Health and Human Services Department. “So if they can stop by on their way to work, or as they’re going home, we’ll be able to give them that opportunity to get their test.”

Officials emphasized that people will not be asked about their legal status in order to get tested.

The new site comes as President Donald Trump weighs creating new restrictions on entering the U.S., including those that could keep U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from coming into the country for work, in the name of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

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