California county’s private hospitals ordered to speed up COVID-19 testing or face penalties

Private hospitals in California’s Santa Clara County will be fined up to $5,000 if they fail to speed  COVID-19 testing under a new county order, according to the San Jose Spotlight.

The order, which goes into effect Sept. 25, requires hospitals to test all patients who are symptomatic, asymptomatic patients who have been exposed to confirmed cases, people who have been referred to testing by the public health department and essential workers.

The order requires these facilities to be prepared to offer all patients tests at the time they present for care, or by the following calendar day if the patient requests a test remotely. 

Private hospitals must ensure essential workers are tested at least once every 14 days. 

Violation of the order is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. 

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