SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The testing site at Cesar Chavez Library in East Salinas is now allowing for unlimited walk-ins where it used to be limited or by appointment only.
The parking lot of the library sits mostly empty now. Site administrators say they have seen a drop in the number of people coming in to get tested for COVID-19.
They are seeing only about 95 tests done per day and a very high 25 percent of those tests are coming back positive for the virus. They used to see about 60 farmworkers come in per day. Now it's down to five at best.
One Salinas resident whom KION interviewed claims he had COVID-19 in May.
"I had to quarantine for 15 days…and I had numerous hospital visits. Thankfully I was able to recover," said Jose Luis Perez Rampira, a Salinas resident.
Administrators say one in four people who get tested at the Cesar Chavez Library site test positive for coronavirus. It is a shockingly high number. Family gatherings and parties are largely to blame.
But hopefully, this is just an outlier.
For the first time, the seven-day average test positivity rate is five percent. That is three percent below the state's threshold to move into Tier 2, or the red category, meaning more businesses would be able to open indoors.
But the number of people testing positive is still too high.
"The test positivity rate has dropped below the threshold, but we will need to have both of these rates below their individual thresholds for two weeks in order for the state to consider moving Monterey County into Tier 2," said Dr. Edward Moreno, the Monterey County Health Officer.
The health officer says these trends show a glimmer of hope that things are getting better. Test administrators at Cesar Chavez Library are capped to perform only 154 tests a day. They just got their contract renewed till at least the end of the year.
For people who have had COVID-19, getting that test is as important as ever to protect the people you love.
"My suggestion is not to waste time. If your oxygen levels are low.. and you are having difficulty breathing… I wouldn't wait to seek medical attention," said Jose Luis Perez Rampira.
The testing site at Cesar Chavez Library is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are accepting walk-ins and they do not check your ID or charge you any fees. You can get your Patient ID Number at www.lhi.care.