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California National Guard in place to meet demand for state's COVID-19 testing facilities

There were 11 members of the California National Guard in San Diego County dispersed to six locations.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — More than 200 California National Guard members were in place Monday at a number of testing sites around the state in an effort to ramp up testing efforts statewide. There were 11 members of the California National Guard in San Diego County dispersed to six locations. On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the activation of the California National Guard to meet the state's demand for COVID-19 testing.

Guard members were deployed in the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, National City, and Oceanside. San Diego County could see an additional 10 to 12 CA National Guard men and women by the end of the week, according Jose Mercado the 1st Sergeant for the Southern California Task Force.

The Imperial County traveling testing site will also be receiving support from Cal Guard members.

According to the Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom, over 200 California Guard members will be deployed across 50 Optum Serve Sites to increase access to testing quickly, increase staff, and add walk-in capacity beginning throughout the coming weeks.  

“California has led the country’s fight against COVID-19, implementing first-in-the-nation public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives,” said Governor Newsom, in the press release. “We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by bolstering testing capacity.”

The announcement comes as omicron continues to spread rapidly across the globe, accounting for at least 80% of COVID-19 cases in California.

The following sites in San Diego County are each receiving assistance from members of the Cal Guard and expanding operations:

  • San Diego - 5330 Linda Vista Rd (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
  • Chula Vista – 1301 Oleander Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
  • El Cajon – 200 S. Magnolia location in El Cajon (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
  • Escondido – 649 W Mission Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
  • National City – 1221 D Ave, National City, CA 91950 (Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
  • Oceanside – 3708 Ocean Ranch Blvd in Oceanside (Open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)