Santa Ana family hit by COVID-19 says improved access to testing is needed as OC reopens

According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, Santa Ana has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the county. And as Orange County begins to reopen, one local family is speaking out about the lack of access to public coronavirus testing.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A single mother of two and her mom, all four living under the same roof in the city of Santa Ana, tested positive for COVID-19.

"What if something happens to me and the only person that I could rely on is my mom and what if the both of us, if something happens, who is going to take care of my children?" Idalia Rios said.

Rios and her family are lucky to have now passed the worst of it, hoping for clearance to return to work any day. Rios called the journey a struggle, starting with access to testing.

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Grandma, who was symptomatic, tested positive on a Friday in May.

"So, obviously by Saturday, I was like we need to get tested ASAP," Rios said.

Rios said when a call to a county testing site resulted in no answer, she went the private route, paying out-of-pocket.

"We just live check by check, right? I think it's going to be a struggle at the end of the month, but we gotta do what we need to do," Rios said.

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On its website, the County of Orange lists four testing sites in Santa Ana. All require an assessment of symptoms and an appointment.
Rios is worried that low-income families like her family will suffer the virus spreading through their homes as Orange County reopens business.

According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, Santa Ana has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

"City officials should be thinking on how are they going to get prepared to help their residents," Rios said.

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Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido agrees that a reopening of the economy in his densely-populated city was a risk without improved access to testing.

"I want some of this drive-up testing or mobile testing or more accessible testing," Pulido said.

Pulido is optimistic his city may see $28 million in June from Sacramento. He says he plans to use part of that money toward improved COVID-19 testing with contracts with the UCI Department of Health.
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