LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Los Angeles has become the first major city in the U.S. to offer free coronavirus testing to all of its residents, whether or not they’re experiencing symptoms.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that testing will be open to any resident of L.A. County, with tests administered at eight locations across the city.
An online portal has been set up, where residents can make appointments to get tested. Officials say priority for same or next-day testing is given to those with symptoms, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Testing is also prioritized for medical professionals and certain other critical front-line workers who interact with the public as part of their job duties.
The testing program has already completed about 140,000 tests since March 20.
“So long as COVID-19 spreads, we have to scale up our response — and because this disease can be a silent killer, we have carefully built the capacity to get more people tested,” said Mayor Garcetti. “No one should have to wait, wonder, or risk infecting others. Don’t leave it to chance. Schedule a test.”
As of Thursday, more than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the city, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. That accounts for over half of the total deaths in the state of California.
Click here to learn more about what’s being done in L.A. to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.