Novel Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) (CDC Image)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County is making good on its commitment to invest up to $1 million to secure more Covid-19 rapid tests for the community, with the first direct purchases from this effort arriving last week.

About 750 test kits were delivered last Wednesday, and a larger order of 50,000 kits was expected to arrive by the end of the week. The combined orders total $471,000 and will be distributed to priority groups.

“These tests will be distributed through the County’s Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) program and allocated on a priority basis due to limited quantities,” according to Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator, in a news release Feb. 1.

Priority groups for the testing supplies include healthcare facilities, child and adult daycare centers, In Home Support Service Workers, faith-based organizations and homeless shelters.

These groups can submit a request through the Monterey County Emergency Medical Services Agency using an online form.

“Because of high demand, incoming requests and limited resource availability, the MHOAC may be limited in the number of requests it can fulfill,” Carroll added.

In addition, the county has state-supplied hand sanitizer and a limited quantity of N95 masks that are available for distribution to local priority groups and organizations. These items will also be allocated through the MHOAC program.

Currently, individual members of the public are not able to request supplies through the MHOAC process. Those who are in need of testing services can make appointments at the county’s state-supported testing sites via or find other testing options at

Carroll said the county’s Emergency Operations Center logistics staff are continuing to “seek out available supplies” for those in need.

With the recent surge in demand for testing, Monterey County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed last month to spend up to $1 million to purchase additional Covid-19 tests as needed in the community. The funding is coming from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act and/or cannabis tax revenue.

As of Monday’s latest data, 82% of the eligible population in Monterey County has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Residents can sign up for vaccination appointments at

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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