ESCONDIDO, Calif. – San Diego County opened up a new COVID-19 test site this week at the Palomar Family YMCA in Escondido in an effort to meet the continued high demand for testing.

Amid the recent surge in infections, COVID-19 testing now is at an all-time high throughout the county, county officials said Thursday. That’s proving helpful to some residents as at-home tests have been increasingly difficult to find from local retailers in recent weeks.

“Our testing numbers are up higher than any other point we’ve had,” said Ryan Clabo, the chief of nursing administration with the county’s Medical Care Services Division.

The new Escondido testing site is open Monday to Friday and can churn out 800 tests per day. County public health officials hope it will help close the gap given the recent demand.

“Our hours here are 10 to 5 — appointment only — so we opened for 1,000 appointments a day here,” Clabo said. “This is one of our health equity zip codes and we wanted to make sure we are bringing the tests to the people that need them.” 

As of Dec. 8, the county reported about 350 out of 100,000 people were being tested for COVID. This week, that number has climbed to more than 1,280 per 100,000.

The county urges San Diegans to use all options for testing, including county sites, pharmacies and rapid antigen tests. Click or tap here to see no-cost COVID-19 testing sites in San Diego County. Vaccination locations in the county are available here.

Residents also are being asked not to go to the ER for testing due to an increase of patients going to the ER amid severe staffing shortages.