SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Seemingly overnight, three COVID-19 tests sites set up shop within a quarter-mile of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
All three are testing people from either side of the border, offering both standard and rapid tests.
At one site, the staff charged just under $20 for the rapid test, but the other two told Border Report they were not.
Workers at one site said they have been told the U.S. government has agreed to pay for the tests.
“It’s pretty convenient, it’s kind of on the way as you’re getting back from Mexico,” said Jesus Marquez. “They’re pretty busy right now.”
Marquez got a test on the way north from Tijuana because his employer in the U.S. is requiring one.
He admitted to getting the virus about a month ago and has been trying to get cleared for work since.
“I did a test in TJ (Tijuana) a couple of weeks ago, thankfully it was negative,” he said.
But according to Marquez, his employer rejected the results of that test because it was not done north of the border.
“It cost me around $35 and in Mexican pesos that would be I would say about 750 pesos, that’s almost what a person makes in a week at minimum wage.”
Marquez said he was grateful the tests are available for free.
“When you cross, I would say to a lot of people take advantage of the testing here.”
Workers at the site immediately north of Ped East, one of the pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro Port of Entry said they have been doing hundreds of tests daily and expect to be busy for at least a few more weeks considering free testing is hard to find in Tijuana.
“Lines are big and people are doing three to four hours in line just to get a covid test in Tijuana,” said Marquez.