Carlsbad, regional libraries run out of COVID-19 tests as cases increase


Medical. (Photo by Hush Naidoo, Unsplash)

North Coast Current

The San Diego County Library system, including its Encinitas branch, is out of free COVID-19 rapid test kits just days after they were distributed through a county program, the system announced on its websites.

“We do not know if or when more kits will be available,” an advisory on county library sites stated.

The notice came as the city of Carlsbad officially announced Thursday, Dec. 30, that its libraries had run out of COVID-19 test kits less than a week after they were made available.

County officials reported a continued sharp rise in cases, according to a Dec. 29 update. As of Wednesday, the county’s Health and Human Services Agency reported 5,976 COVID-19 cases in the region.

The rapid test kits were provided through a partnership with San Diego County, which gave 1,500 of the kits to Carlsbad’s libraries on Monday, Dec. 27, as part of a program that distributed them to libraries across the county.

Local drive-up testing sites in north San Diego County have been inundated at times with residents seeking tests as well. By early afternoon Thursday, the line of cars to get into Kaiser Permanente’s San Marcos testing site, for example, wound through parking lots out through Rush Drive and Discovery Street to Twin Oaks Valley Road.

Area drugstores are also reporting shortages of take-home rapid tests.

“The overall testing system has the capacity to meet demand,” county health officials noted in their Dec. 29 update. “However, testing traffic can surge and sites can be very busy.”

Local COVID-19 test positivity and case rates are up throughout the county, including coastal North County, according to data updated on Dec. 29. Virtually the entire county is in the red “high transmission” tier.

In Encinitas, the positivity rate for Dec. 12-18 was 4.43% in zip code 92024. Cardiff (zip code 92007) had a positivity rate of 4.48%. San Marcos hovered at about 5%, while Carlsbad’s general positivity rate was just under 4%, according to county figures. Oceanside had a positivity rate upward of 6%.

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