WebMD News Brief

LA Offers All Residents Free COVID-19 Tests

May 1, 2020 - Today in the world of coronavirus news.

All residents in Los Angeles County should be able to receive a coronavirus test, whether or not they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday evening.

Testing is by appointment only at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing and are available at eight locations inside the city of Los Angeles, according to the announcement.

The website has links to schedule an appointment, find a nearby testing location and read frequently asked questions, as well as information about testing for frontline health care workers, skilled nursing facilities and Kaiser Permanente members. Residents can also watch a test preparation video and learn about test results.

Priority for same or next-day testing will still be given to people with symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, the site says, and residents must indicate their symptoms when scheduling a test.

People experiencing severe symptoms such as extreme shortness of breath, should still contact a doctor or call 911.

The testing program began about a month ago with one Los Angeles Fire Department and has grown to eight sites inside the city and 34 sites across the region, according to the announcement. The program has completed 140,000 tests since March 20.

The program is a partnership among the city of Los Angeles, the county of Los Angeles and the Community Organized Relief Effort, or CORE.

The announcement came the same day county health officials reported a surge in new COVID-19 cases, according to NPR, which they attributed to more widespread testing.

The Los Angeles County Health Department reported more than 1,500 new cases, which is the largest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic. At the same time, hospitalizations and deaths have remained steady, health officials said.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on May 01, 2020

Sources

News release, City of Los Angeles, April 29.

L.A. COVID-19 testing page.

NPR: “Los Angeles City and County Offer Free Coronavirus Testing to All Residents.”

News release, Los Angeles County Health Department.

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