SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif .– Santa Barbara County Public Health says rapid COVID tests are reliable, but officials strongly recommend a PCR test.
Home testing is currently not available at PHD health care centers.
On January 2, the Ministry of Health told us that “we are at this stage because demand exceeds supply”.
According to their website, there are test sites in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Santa Barbara, but there is still a gap between the northern and southern counties.
Rapid tests range from $ 100 to $ 150 depending on where you go.
For Danielle Sosa, a resident of Santa Ynez Valley, home testing was unreliable because she caught the virus – along with her granddaughter.
âI ended up going to the emergency room,â Sosa said. “We did two home tests about six hours before that and they came back negative.”
After she went to the emergency room?
âWithin five minutes of their tests they said you both had COVID. “
Luckily for Danielle, who is a patient at the Indian Health Clinic in the Valley, she was able to test her family, but others cannot say the same.
âA lot of people who don’t have insurance, transportation, that’s why it’s spreading, it’s because you don’t have the resources,â Sosa said.
The closest site was the American Medical Response Central Training Center in Buellton, but it closed because the county saw a decrease in the number of people tested.
And they said this before the holidays: “Fewer people with COVID, fewer people with symptoms, fewer people exposed to someone with covid, so there is a significant decrease in the need for testing,” said Matt Higgs of SBCPH.
So people are finding other strategies.
âIt’s really tough, I mean a lot of people said they called 211,â Sosa said.
Some people use social media, but not everyone.
“If you’re active in it, great, if you don’t feel good you don’t know about it, do you?” Said a source who declined to share his name.
Local emergency care appears to be the best method, but more tests are underway, according to the SBCPH.