Testing operations are coming to a close at L.A. County's largest COVID-19 testing site today after health officials announced that the site at Dodger Stadium will be converted into an area where people will be able to obtain the coronavirus vaccine.
“From early on in this pandemic, Dodger Stadium has been home base for our testing infrastructure, a vital part of our effort to track the spread of COVID-19, try to get ahead of outbreaks, and save lives,'' L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the city, county and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.''
Health officials say Dodger Stadium will be able to vaccinate up to 12,000 people every day when it is fully up and running. Testing will shift away from Dodger Stadium and the Veterans Affairs in Lot 15, so that public health officials can begin converting the area for personnel, equipment and other resources for future vaccine distribution. That will “temporarily reduce testing capacity in L.A. County, but it will more than triple the number of daily vaccines available to be dispersed to Angelenos,'' according to the mayor's statement.
“The city remains committed to providing free testing to residents, with or without symptoms, at eight permanent sites and six mobile sites across L.A." Garcetti said.
“In the weeks ahead, the number of tests offered will increase through existing locations, additional mobile teams and an expanded site at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Anyone seeking a test can find more information at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing or may contact their health care provider.''
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis applauded the decision.
“I want to thank Mayor Eric Garcetti, the entire city of Los Angeles and the Dodgers organization for their partnership in getting us to this point,'' Solis said.
“For eight months, Dodger Stadium served as a lifeline for so many Angelenos -- providing free access to testing. In this moment of darkness where cases, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing, this bold step of offering both COVID-19 testing and vaccines in the heart of Los Angeles, reflects the dual nature of this moment -- it is dark, but simultaneously hopeful,'' she said. “Robust COVID-19 testing is the linchpin to getting out of this current and unprecedented surge and the vaccine is fulcrum to ending the pandemic once and for all.''
The news comes as LA County health officials reported 14,482 new cases of COVID-19 and 166 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the county's overall totals to 920,177 cases and 12,250 fatalities. Nearly five million people have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in the county, with about 17% of people testing positive, according to the Los Angeles County Health Department.
For more information on when you might be eligible for the vaccine, go to VaccinateLACounty.com.
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