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SLO County supervisors to discuss adding fees to COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 Testing
Sign indicates location of SLO County COVID-19 testing at Ramona Garden Park in Grover Beach (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors will discuss a proposed ordinance amendment is to add new fees for COVID-19 testing.

The supervisors are meeting in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday.

According to the agenda report, the addition of the testing fees will allow the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Laboratory to help offset costs for reagents, test kits, and staff time.

The county has offered free testing to community members since the onset of the pandemic in early March.

In the agenda report from Dr. Penny Borenstein, Public Health Officer, and Michael Hill, Health Agency Director, it states "as the response has moved into a more predictable stage, it is now appropriate to move to fee-for-service testing and capture medical insurance for the majority of test orders."

Three separate COVID-19 test related fees are being recommended for approval that range from $63 to $138.

The staff report indicates fee approval will result in estimated revenues of $378,000 and labor-saving cost avoidance of $12,600.

The proposal comes as positive cases are surging in San Luis Obispo County.

Since June 1, the county has seen 495 new cases, including 341 in June alone.

Prior to June 1, the county had only 270 cases since the county started releasing case information on March 23.

If approved, free testing will still be provided in high-risk congregate settings or for disease clusters.

Also, per Departmental Policy “Fee Assistance for Clinical Services”, individual fees may be reduced or waived based on ability to pay.

California / Health / Local Politics / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.