LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County officials said today they will be “quickly ramping up and adding” more COVID-19 mobile testing sites this week at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, as well as in East Los Angeles and Santa Clarita.
In addition, the officials said the county is in discussions with AltaMed to bring several urgent care facilities to underserved areas.
On Friday, three new drive-up testing sites opened: the Pomona Fairplex at Gate 17, W. McKinley/Fairplex Drive; the South Bay Galleria at 1815 Hawthorne Blvd. in Redondo Beach; and the Antelope Valley Mall at 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd. in Palmdale.
Testing is by appointment only.
Additional sites in Northridge, Long Beach, Lancaster and Pasadena are in the planning stages.
The county's COVID-19 testing is limited to the most vulnerable residents -- those who are age 65 and older and/or have underlying health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease, or moderate to severe asthma.
Testing is also limited to those who are immunocompromised, including as a result of cancer treatment, and/or have been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period because they have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have more than seven days of the two-week quarantine period remaining.
Anyone interested in getting tested must first register on the screening website, coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.
This first step determines if people are eligible to be tested. At the website, individuals are asked to answer basic questions, including name, date of birth, address and whether they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
The website -- in real time -- determines and confirms an individual's testing eligibility. Those who receive confirmation of testing eligibility will then be given a selection of testing sites, and available appointment times to complete the test registration process.
The registration number will be required at the testing site. All of the testing locations are drive-up and clients stay in their vehicles for tests -- though pedestrian clients with appointments can be tested, as well.
The test is a self-administered oral swab, meaning clients must swab their own mouths/throats using instructions provided to them at the site. The testing process takes between 5 and 10 minutes, however waiting times may vary. More information and frequently asked questions are available at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
“The goal is to increase testing capacity as quickly as possible in Los Angeles County to meet the community's needs, which are growing every day,” said Dr. Clayton Kazan, medical director of the L.A. County Fire Department, who is leading the countywide coordination of COVID-19 testing.
Kazan is tasked with supporting and scaling the efforts of cities and healthcare providers that have begun their own testing programs, merge them into the countywide network and ensure that they have adequate supplies.
Photo: Getty Images