To meet both the goals of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the needs of our local public health officials to mitigate the spread of the virus in our community, the County has devised the following set of testing priorities:

Exceed the State Testing Median

Although the testing rate in County exceeds the State median rate of testing, the County seeks to exceed the State median by a margin of at least 1.25x.  To accomplish this, the County seeks to achieve 308 tests/100,000 population per day (2,400 total tests per day) by October 12, 2020.

Status: County testing rate of 502.8/100,000 population per day for period 11/25—11-7-2020 (as reported by CDPH on 11/152020).


Deploy a stationary State-sponsored Project Baseline site at the San Mateo County Event Center capable of providing approximately 1,000 tests per day (≥500 San Mateo County residents), five days per week.

Status: As of 9/29/2020, State-sponsored testing team operating at the Event Center Tuesday through Saturday, with capacity to test 1,000+ per day.  For period 11/1—11/7/2020, 4,020 total tests (3,288 SMC residents). 

Goal: By October 12, 2020, add the capability to test children and youth at Event Center location through a separate vendor.

Status: Effective October 19, testing of children and youth at Event Center available Mondays through Fridays 1-8 p.m.


Deploy a County-sponsored (Project Baseline) rotating mobile testing team that covers the north, south, and coastal areas of the County with capacity for 650 tests per day.

Status: Effective 09/28/2020, County-sponsored mobile testing operation rotating to north, south, and coastal areas five days per week with capacity of 650 test/day.  For period 11/1—11/7/2020, 2,388 total tests (1,649 SMC residents).


Continue to partner with healthcare providers to reinforce promotion of their testing capacity through County website and social media channels, with private healthcare providers comprising at least 80% of testing volume in the County.

Status: private healthcare providers/systems continue to comprise approximately 80% of testing volume in the County.


Ensure Equitable Access to Testing

Even with the availability of testing offered at no cost to residents, some residents may face barriers to access, including geographical distance, limited technological access, lack of insurance coverage, testing times that conflict with work, or lack of familiarity of testing as a protective measure.  The County strives to reduce such barriers so that all residents can receive the testing they need.


Working with local partners, create targeted neighborhood testing sites that serve at-risk, vulnerable neighborhoods, as identified through the local epidemiology and demographic information, that are offered at flexible times to meet community needs.

Goal: By October 19, average at least four neighborhood testing events per week.  Public Health will also stand up testing teams, as needed on an urgent basis, driven by epidemiologic data that will help stop the spread of the virus in communities that have high positivity and low testing.

Status: For the period 10/410/17/2020, average of 5.5 neighborhood testing events per week.


Provide outreach materials to at-risk communities reinforcing core protective behaviors (masks, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding gatherings), notifying residents of testing opportunities, and mitigating apprehension to testing.


Invest in Strategic Community Testing

COVID-19 poses higher risks for some residents.  In addition to creating access by rotating testing sites around the County, the County seeks to achieve targeted community testing and screening of our highest-risk and most vulnerable populations.


Provide highly responsive testing and operational support to any congregate care residential facility at the first sign of an outbreak

Current: Support provided since March. Assessing testing needs and creating weekly testing schedule for facilities and baseline for goals.

Goal: Starting October 19, 2020, collect and test at least 100 specimens from such facilities per day.

Status: During the week of November 9, an average of 140 specimens were collected and tested each day from such facilities.


Assist and advise congregate care residential facilities in the County on appropriate screening testing plans for both staff and residents

Current state: By October 2, 2020, complete survey to identify percentage of residential facilities testing 25% of staff or resident members weekly to establish baseline.

Goal: By December 1, 2020, 100% of skilled nursing facilities doing periodic (25%) screening testing weekly.

Status: As of October 19, 2020, 100% of skilled nursing facilities are doing periodic screening testing weekly.


Ensure that all congregate residential facilities for the homeless are subject to regular surveillance testing

Goal: By October 31, 2020, complete baseline screening for all facilities.

Goal: By November 15, 2020, support 100% of shelter facilities to establish self-administered surveillance testing.

Status: As of October 19, 2020, 100% have administered baseline testing.

Status: As of October 19, 2020, 0% of homeless shelters have established self-administered surveillance testing.


Ensure that vulnerable farm worker communities have reliable access to testing

Current state: sponsor testing events as needed in partnership with growers, CBOs, and with help from County staff.

Goal: By October 19, 2020, establish at least one community testing opportunity per week in south coast farmworker community.

Status: As of October 19, we have established at least one community testing opportunity per week in the south coast farmworker community.


Updated Nov. 17, 2020