The testing facility at Earl Warren Showgrounds | Credit: Courtesy

A testing facility at Earl Warren Showgrounds has made COVID-19 testing available to the public in Santa Barbara, part of an effort by the county to substantially expand testing, one of the prerequisites for easing restrictions implemented to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. New information released by the county’s Public Health Department on Thursday laid out guidelines for how to request an appointment, hours of availability, and daily testing capacity. 

Earl Warren is the second testing site opened in Santa Barbara County in the last week, after a center opened in Santa Maria on Tuesday, May 5. The release states that a facility is due to open in the Anderson Recreation Center in Lompoc on Friday, May 8. 

Testing is by appointment only, and members of the Santa Barbara community can do so online at or calling 1 (888) 634-1123. The daily hours of operation are 7 a.m.-7 p.m., although those could change based on community need, according to the release. Today’s schedule is fully booked, and the center will have a testing capacity of 132 tests a day. While anyone is free to schedule an appointment, the following groups of people are prioritized: 

• Health-care workers and first responders

• Persons 65 years and older or any age with chronic medical conditions

• Residents or employees of congregate-care living facilities

• Persons in essential occupations which include utilities, grocery, food supply, and public employees

• Any persons exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19

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