LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday evening that anyone in Los Angeles County displaying symptoms of the novel coronavirus can now sign up for an appointment to get tested.
“Those folks who were most at need of a test have been getting them,” Garcetti said. “But tonight, we’re able to expand that so that anybody now in the county and anybody who wants to get a test can now apply for that test, so there are no longer any limits.”
In a message posted to Twitter, Garcetti clarified that all people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 would have access to free testing.
Any L.A. County resident with COVID-19 symptoms will now have access to our free testing. Priority will still be given to those with underlying health challenges or over 65. Please help us spread the word and save lives. https://t.co/rHWABmXUEl. pic.twitter.com/BKBTmZmoZs
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) April 7, 2020
Garcetti said that does not mean there will be enough tests tomorrow for people to get one immediately, but it means that the demand for those deemed most at-risk is now lower than the number of tests available.
“We all know that testing is the most critical tool in knowing who is COVID-19 positive,” Garcetti said. “And we’ve come a long, long way in a short period of time.”
Garcetti said there are now 13 testing sites throughout the county — seven in the city of Los Angeles and six in neighboring cities — that together have administered more than 21,000 COVID-19 tests since they opened, nearly half of the county’s 52,000 tests.
The remaining 31,000 tests have been conducted by health care providers, hospitals and labs, Garcetti said.
In total, Garcetti said Los Angeles County has conducted 40% of California’s testing despite having a population that accounts for less than 25% of the state.
He also said that this week alone, the county is poised to administer 36,000 additional tests for the novel coronavirus — 18,000 through health care providers and 18,000 through locally run testing sites.
“This growth is a testament to our partnerships with the county and city working together, other cities and the non-profit emergency response organization community,” Garcetti said.
Information about testing sites and scheduling for future testing can be done on the city’s coronavirus response website.