COVID-19 testing - PS 7.jpg

A technician at the Monterey County Public Health Laboratory conducts a COVID-19 test on March 9, 2020.

Monterey County has another Covid-19 testing site up and running, and based on demand, staffing will be doubled. 

The new testing site at Monterey Peninsula College is being run by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which is equipped to administer up to 100 tests a day. 

It's the seventh and newest addition to Monterey County's testing sites, which now include the four hospitals, and two locations operated by OptumServe. 

The new MPC testing site brings the county's total daily testing capacity to 474—closer toward the 650-per-day number set by the state as a reopening benchmark, based on population. 

As the new data starts to come in, it might look at first like bad news if the number of positives starts to go up. "The more people who get tested, the more likely we are to get positive tests," County Administrative Officer Charles McKee said in a press briefing on Monday, May 18. "While we might have an initial uptick in our numbers because we’re testing more, we will have a huge benefit to our community."

County Health Officer Edward Moreno said that on average, about 5-6 percent of Covid-19 tests have come back positive. The figure at the new free Optum testing sites has been lower, about 1 percent.

UPDATE: Testing was cancelled for Thursday, May 21, after the public response was so great test supplies were depleted in the first few days. Planned Parenthood officials hope to reopen next week. Visit their website for updates:



Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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