The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has launched a new program to increase COVID-19 testing for residents unable to schedule appointments, by providing test kits that can test for COVID-19 and influenza.
In a news release, the Department of Health Services stated the program allows residents to take a polymerase chain reaction test kit. After performing the test, they can return the completed test to a drop-off location for processing; the test proctors will notify residents within 48 hours of test results.
As demand for testing grows, L.A. County continues to increase capacity with increasing business hours, adding mobile testing units and home testing kits sent via mail, according to the news release.
A testing site for the pickup tests will be at College of the Canyons in Valencia and is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other sites for the pickup test kits nearest to Santa Clarita include the Boys & Girls Club in Pacoima and Palmdale Hammack Center in Antelope Valley.
L.A. County will have 13 testing sites proving the pickup test kits and they are available without an appointment until “daily supplies are exhausted.”
“We look forward to reducing the waiting time to get tested for individuals unable to book an appointment,” said Paula Siler, director of community mobile testing for DHS. “Once all 13 pickup testing locations are fully operating and once our home testing kit by mail program is simultaneously relaunched later this week, we will have successfully added over 10,000 additional daily COVID tests available to the residents of L.A. County.”
The pickup tests are for individuals experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The tests are not intended for those required to test for work, school or participate in other activities requiring testing.
The pickup tests are PCR tests and not rapid tests, according to the news release.
In response to the new program, Supervisor Kathryn Barger released a statement applauding the program and residents who are “stepping up” to get tested and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“I strongly encourage L.A. County residents who have a need for testing to take advantage of this new resource,” Barger said. “This is an especially valuable service for families and community members who urgently need to get COVID-19 tested and don’t have another way to do so.”
L.A. County residents can find COVID-19 pickup testing sites at www.covid19.lacounty.gov/la-county-pick-up-testing-kit-program.
“Individuals who need to get tested as part of a requirement for work, school, or other activities should seek testing via their employer, school district or the entity requiring the testing,” the news release said.
Currently, there are 260 COVID-19 testing locations listed on L.A. County’s COVID-19 testing website; the county operates 66 community sites and seven state sites. Testing partners operate the remaining locations.
Testing locations listed within the county website offer COVID-19 tests at no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status. Additionally, not all testing sites are operated by the county, with many private companies, health care services and municipalities charging for their testing service.
Only the testing sites listed within the L.A. County COVID-19 testing website, www.covid19.lacounty.gov/testing, have been vetted by L.A. County.