VENTURA, Calif. -- On Tuesday, Ventura County Officials mentioned the possibility of more restrictions as the county looks like they will be heading back down to the purple tier soon.
Since then, county officials are urging people to get tested and residences are showing up hoping to stay in red.
Hundreds of people made their way to the COVID testing center at the Ventura County Fairgrounds Friday. For many it was their first time, but not for others.
“This will be my third time,” said Draza Mrvichin from Ventura. “It is good to be tested every once in a while, and to make sure you are ok and not spreading it.”
The "mega testing center" at the Fairgrounds tested 1,200 people on Thursday, marking a record for the site. It was a similar scene on Friday.
“This site is really built to accommodate around 1,500 individuals getting tested per day,” said Patrick Maynard, who is the director of Emergency Services at Ventura County. “We have plenty of capacity, tests, and lab capacity is not a problem for us. It is really just the amount of people we can get in the door.”
On Tuesday, Ventura County announced it is no longer hitting some of the thresholds needed to stay in the "Red Tier" of the state's reopening plan. This means the county could slide back to the more restrictive purple tier by next week, that is, unless more people get tested. County leaders say it's the best chance at lowering the case rate and staying in the Red Tier. The community appears to have listened.
“We just wanted to get tested to get the testing numbers up,” said Larea Hansen of Ventura. Hansen brought along her daughter Emma. “We have seen posts that we need to get our numbers up to hopefully get to open schools. We are pretty sure we will be negative so we want to add to the negative numbers.”
To handle the increased demand, the county implemented a text message system to alert people when it's their turn. Many even brought their kids
“It was pretty easy,” said Emma Hansen.
“With schools reopening we always encourage kids to come in and get tested along with family. Not just the kids, we want the family to come with them as well,” said Maynard. “The process is really easy for kids too.”
“Easy peasy,” said Mrvichin. “I was in and out in five minutes.”
Ventura County Public Health says more negative testing will help lower the rate. Ventura County will find out if the large turnout to get tested helped the county stay in the red tier.