County opens new ‘drive-up’ testing sites

COVID19
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Los Angeles County officials announced Wednesday they had ramped up the county’s COVID-19 drive-up testing sites, but they will be limited to the most vulnerable residents. 

Starting Friday, the county will open three locations, with the closest site to the Santa Clarita Valley being the Antelope Valley mall, located at 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd. in Palmdale. 

The other two locations are the Pomona Fairplex (Gate 17, West McKinely/Fairplex Drive) and the South Bay Galleria (1815 Hawthorne Blvd.), as the county plans to develop “many others countywide,” according to a county news release Thursday. On its website, the county listed other potential sites that could open in Northridge, Lancaster, Long Beach, West Hollywood, Malibu and Calabasas. 

“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,” Dr. Clayton Kazan, medical director of the LA County Fire Department, who is leading the countywide coordination of COVID-19 testing, said in a prepared statement. 

Who can get tested

At this time, COVID-19 testing is limited to the most vulnerable county residents, according to the county’s website. Those eligible individuals who are 65 and older, and/or have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease,  moderate to severe asthma or people who are immunocompromised. 

Anyone interested in getting tested must register online at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing, which will help determine if someone is eligible. Participants will be asked to answer basic questions, such as name and address, and whether he or she has experienced COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. 

How it works

All testing locations are “drive-up” sites, meaning patients will remain in their vehicles while testing. Clients will be asked to swab their own mouths/throats as instructed by medical staff on site. Pedestrian clients with appointments will also be able to get tested. 

The testing process can take anywhere between five to 10 minutes but waiting times can vary, the county said. 

The county’s testing sites come as Kaiser Permanente also opened multiple “drive-up” clinics for its members, which include similar testing requirements. 

For all local coronavirus-related stories, visit: signalscv.com/2020/03/covid-19-coverage-summary.

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