Santa Clara County health officials are encouraging residents to get tested for the coronavirus, as testing rates have dropped by 34% in the last two months.
Health officials say testing is critical to understanding where the region stands in the pandemic, particularly as new variants continue to circulate in the region.
"If we are not testing robustly in the community, it narrows our view of where the virus is circulating, and to what level it is spreading. Testing also allows us to break the chains of transmission and reduce spread, which gives the virus less opportunities to replicate and mutate," county COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said in a statement.
County public health leaders continue to urge community members to practice social distancing and consistently wear face coverings, even if vaccinated.
For those who may have been exposed to the virus, testing remains free, easy and confidential. It is available seven days a week, and there are a number of options for people with different needs, including appointment or drop-in, drive-through or walk-up, and specimen collection by nasal swab or saliva.
Frontline workers should get tested at least once a month and up to once every two weeks, and continue testing even after being vaccinated, according to county guidelines.
Testing will be available next week in San Jose, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Campbell and Palo Alto. The Palo Alto testing is held every first and third Friday of the month at the El Palo Alto Room at Mitchell Park, 3700 Middlefield Road, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled here.