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Expanding Options for Testing and Vaccination during COVID-19 Surge


The highly transmissible Omicron variant is fueling a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the County.  Test positivity rates countywide (17.3%) and in the Health Equity Quartile census tracts (24.4%) have increased in the latest 7-day lagged data that goes through January 12th. During this surge, the County has administered more tests than any other time since the pandemic began. This heightened demand for COVID-19 testing during the surge has been outstripping the capacity of healthcare providers, pharmacies, and County-sponsored community testing sites resulting in long lines, limited availability of appointments, and reduction in personnel to perform onsite testing.

Amid this surge, vaccination remains one of the best ways to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. The County’s overall vaccination rate (including all eligible and ineligible residents) is currently at 88% for those who have received at least one dose and 80% for those who are fully vaccinated.  As of January 25th, a total of 682, 860 residents have received at least one shot, including 38,937 5–11-year-old children (about 61% of the eligible 5-11-year-olds).  The County will continue offering pediatric access at school and community sites in East Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, South San Francisco and Daly City. Additionally, three (3) pediatric clinics were held in Pescadero and Half Moon Bay in December and January. The County will continue providing pathways for primary series and booster vaccination through County-sponsored community clinics and venues.  

Following are options for COVID-19 testing and vaccination:

San Mateo County Health has been engaged in ongoing efforts to expand testing capacity, especially in our Health Equity Quartile communities, by adding hours to existing sites, increasing the frequency of days offered by sites, retaining new vendors to add new sites in, and ordering home test kits to be disseminated through pathways reaching our most impacted communities. The latest information about testing and vaccination access is updated routinely on our website – for testing go to and for vaccinations go to

FREE At-Home COVID-19 Tests are now available from the federal government through Every home in the country is eligible for four (4) free tests. Orders should usually ship between 7 – 12 days.

Health Insurance Providers will provide up to eight (8) free tests per covered member. Members may purchase tests at no cost or submit receipts for reimbursement from their insurance company. Many insurers have not yet established processes to access the kits; therefore, Individuals are advised to check with their insurance provider for more information.