San Bernardino County tests 450 people for coronavirus in drive-thru center

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- San Bernardino County public health officials opened their first drive-through testing center for coronavirus at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino Friday morning.

County health officials offered 380 appointments. All of them were taken within a few hours - in addition to walk-ups that were allowed later.

"It happened very quickly," said assistant director of public health Corwin Porter. "You can see there's a greater demand than we can provide. So as those supplies are available, we'll expand the testing."

People could register for the drive-through testing online or by calling a phone number. They were screened for potential testing based on their symptoms.

"We went through a screening protocol and those here today passed the initial screening, where they have symptoms of COVID-19. The more risk they demonstrated, the higher priority they received when it came to the appointments."

The plan was for the drive-through testing operation to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. County officials had about 70 extra test kits on hand that could be used on family members of those who had appointments who were also displaying symptoms.

Because there were extras at the end of the day, county officials announced on Twitter that walk-ups would be allowed on a first-come, first-served basis.

But overall, a lack of supplies is still hampering efforts to test more people.

"Initially getting the swabs has been the biggest challenge," said Porter. "That's been part of the problem. And the capacity of the labs is still scaling up."

Porter said test results should come within three or four days. He said county health officials are hoping to have another drive-through testing operation next week somewhere in the Victorville area.
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