San Jose Mayor Calls For Less Restrictive Testing Guidelines

San Jose’s mayor says COVID-19 testing capacity is no longer the most urgent hurdle his city needs to clear as it seeks to dramatically increase the number of people getting tested each day.

"We think that residents may not be getting tested for several reasons," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told KCBS Radio. "Some residents may not know the testing is free."

The free testing is at two sites in East San Jose run by Verily Life Sciences, available to anyone who makes it through an online screener.

The mayor said another issue is that the state has set eligibility requirements for these sites that leave a lot of people out. Currently, those requirements limit testing to those who have symptoms or who are at high risk from the illness.

"I would like to see the state continue to broaden the eligibility for testing so we can get as many people tested as want to get tested," Liccardo said.

CHUNCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 17: An employee holds up an AFIAS Covid-19 Ab testing kit used in diagnosing the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Boditech Med Inc. headquarters on April 17, 2020 in Chuncheon, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Liccardo believes the Verily sites in San Jose could test up to five times the amount of people that are currently getting tested if more people were making it through the online screening.

"We know that the restrictions on eligibility were very tight initially under the state guidelines, those are loosening now, and we hope and we’re going to push to loosen then further so more people can get tested," Liccardo said.

Liccardo said getting the testing ramped up is a crucial step that will need to be taken before the region can open back up and return to work.