Watch CBS News

Governor Newsom Activates National Guard To Bolster State's COVID-19 Testing Capacity

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that the California National Guard has been activated to assist local communities with extra testing facilities and capacity in the wake of a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron strain.

"California has led the country's fight against COVID-19, implementing first-in-the-nation public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives," said Governor Newsom. "We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by bolstering testing capacity."

This new initiative comes on top of the state's existing 6,000 testing facilities, as well as the state's recent demand-based expansion of hours at state-operated sites and the 9.6 million tests sent to schools since early December.

The news comes as Omicron continues to spread quickly over the world, accounting for at least 80% of COVID-19 cases in California.

Over 200 California National Guard members will be deployed across 50 Optum Serve locations across the state, providing interim clinical staff while permanent staff is hired, increasing capacity for walk-ins, assisting with crowd control, and backfilling for staff absences, all in an effort to conduct more tests for more Californians.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.