Los Angeles becomes the first major city in the United States to offer free coronavirus testing to all residents

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a Los Angeles County Department of Health press conference on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Los Angeles has become the first city in the United States to offer coronavirus testing to anyone, whether or not they have symptoms, said Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference on Wednesday.

But those with symptoms will have first priority, he added.

Los Angeles has the capacity to perform about 9% of all testing in America, Garcetti told reporters.

In other parts of the state, efforts are underway to understand the spread of the virus by testing those who are not actively showing symptoms.

Bolinas, California was the first city to offer extended testing to residents. The effort, which started earlier this month, is part of a research project run by the Marin County community of Bolinas and the University of California at San Francisco.

And earlier this week, the University of California at San Francisco launched an effort to offer Covid-19 diagnostic and antibody tests to 5,700 residents who live in a specific section of Mission District, the densest neighborhood from San Francisco. is done through a partnership with Biohub Chan Zuckerberg, is intended to collect data on the prevalence of Covid-19 in the region.

Across the country, states say that Covid-19 tests are increasing but that there are still not enough tests available. As the United States begins to reopen, medical experts say testing will need to speed up, along with contact tracing and other efforts to quickly isolate those who may be contagious before they can spread the virus to others. other.

Los Angeles accounts for almost half of the state’s coronavirus cases. It has more than 20,000 confirmed cases, out of a total of 45,031 in California.

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