SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The July 4th weekend will be a big test for people in the Bay Area as to whether they can slow down risky behavior. Coronavirus cases are surging in the Bay Area, and so are the number of people looking to get tested.
Hayward’s drive-thru testing site closed early Tuesday, because so many cars lined up at the Cal State University East Bay campus.
The site provides free testing on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For people who want to get a free test at San Francisco’s Embarcadero test site, the wait for an appointment is about a week.
“If you want to hang out with your friends, first of all think twice about it. Secondly, if you’re going to do it wear masks, and be socially distanced, those are the ways to do it. Testing is not full proof,” said UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford. “People can have negative tests and then turn positive the next day or two days later.”
Dr. Rutherford says the surge in cases stems from Memorial Day.
In California, new cases are up 74 percent compared with two weeks ago.
“As people get out and start to do stuff and start to mix and congregate, the risk of transmission goes up, and we can see those cases come,” said Rutherford.
He believes the trend is reversible, if people make the right choices.
“So initially our plans were to go to Tahoe and enjoy the weather up there, and considering the surge in cases, we realized that it might not be a good idea. So rather, we canceled our beach plans this weekend,” said Cesar Carrillo of San Francisco.
San Francisco resident Kim Broadbeck is also choosing to stay indoors.
“It’s actually really scary, and for us we just decided to stay home for the weekend. We might be more on the conservative side of how people are thinking about it, but we just don’t want to be out,” she said.
As counties across California put the brakes on plans to reopen, Governor Gavin Newsom said family gatherings going into the holiday weekend are a big concern. He is expected to make a detailed announcement on tougher restrictions on Wednesday.