L.A. Becomes First City in U.S. to Offers Free COVID-19 Testing to All Residents

People with appointments pull up to be tested for coronavirus at the new drive-in testing center at the Forum in Inglewood, California, a suburb of L.A., on Tuesday, April 14. (Photo: Courtesy County of Los Angeles)

The Washington Post

Los Angeles offers free coronavirus testing for all residents

All residents of Los Angeles County can access free coronavirus testing at city-run sites, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said on Wednesday.

Previously, the city had only offered testing to residents with symptoms as well as essential workers and people who lived or worked in nursing homes and other kinds of institutional facilities.

In an announcement on Twitter, Garcetti said that priority would still be given to front-line workers and anyone experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever or shortness of breath. But the move, which makes Los Angeles the first major city in the country to offer such widespread testing, allows individuals without symptoms to be tested.

Health experts have repeatedly said that mass testing is necessary to determine how many people have contracted the virus — and in particular, those who may not have experienced symptoms — and then begin to reopen the economy. Testing is by appointment only and can be arranged at one of the city’s 35 sites.

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