“Today, three city test sites are open, with nearly 100 state, county and private provider test sites open in LA County,” said office spokesperson Andrea Garcia. from the mayor, Monday at Deadline. “The Dodger stadium location was not scheduled to open today, but it will be tomorrow. No appointment has been canceled. City sites provided 2,800 tests today and 80,000 tests this week. “
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One of the reasons for the decision seems to be that, as the county testing system was overhauled over the weekend, so have the processes at the city’s largest test site.
Sean Penn’s not-for-profit Curative and CORE testing company are stepping up efforts to meet increased demand at the city’s Dodger Stadium site. The weekend break allowed these entities to refine and transfer the efforts of the city’s Dodger stadium to a new system. This new model will bill insurance directly to applicants who have insurance, without paying anything. For residents who do not have insurance, the city and CARES law will pay for the test.
Given the record number and the expected increase after the weekend of July 4, the city, Curative and CORE are preparing for an increase in the positive results of COVID-19 as well as a demand during the next month.
This rigor will be a welcome change as LA has been hampered by incomplete numbers and data. In fact, the county and state level test data was delayed over the long weekend.
But the truth is that more resources are needed. The mayor promised 16,000 tests a day in a city of nearly 4 million inhabitants. And with the economic downturn, budgets are stretched. It will likely take combined financial support from the private sector and local, state and federal officials to get the region where it needs to be, in terms of testing.
PREVIOUSLY, 2:40 p.m. Los Angeles County director of public health Barbara Ferrer reported 1,584 new cases of coronavirus on Monday. She said Monday’s numbers are generally lower due to a delay in testing.
On Friday, new daily cases of Los Angeles County coronavirus crossed the 3,000 mark, with a record 3,187 reported. Over the weekend, LA’s largest COVID test site appears to have closed without explanation.
Asked about the closure of the Dodger Stadium site, a county official said, “It would be best to address these questions to the city.”
The site is currently closed, according to an NBC News report and accounts on social media today.
“The Dodger stadium is closed at this time,” said an MSNBC. “When we called the city of Los Angeles, they said it had something to do with staffing levels … However, now we hear that it may have something to do with county level funding and refunds. ”
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti’s office did not immediately respond when contacted by Deadline about the situation.
The official Los Angeles City COVID test appointment site makes no mention of the closure.
This comes after weeks of complaints from residents about the scarcity of tests, including Monday.
On June 24, Garcetti said the city is increasing its testing capacity. The mayor said he was ordering the city to “develop tests to meet demand,” dropping from 7,700 tests a day last week to 13,600 tests.
“Go out and get tested,” said the mayor. Garcetti made no mention of the closure of the Dodger Stadium during a meeting with the media on Monday morning.
Garcetti last week banned fireworks and July 4 rallies with people other than those he lives with. County officials took the extraordinary step of closing restaurants for restaurant dining and ordering cinemas to remain closed for at least 3 weeks.
Ferrer announced Monday that “almost 50% of new cases involve young people” under the age of 40. The advantage, she said, “is that we have seen fewer deaths, luckily, in skilled nursing facilities.”
Ferrer reported an additional 48 deaths on Monday. This means that there have been a total of 3,534 deaths from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.
Asked recently about the lower number of deaths, Ferrer again spoke of the growing number of young people contracting the virus and their generally healthier immune systems.
“We often lag behind in death from the time we start to see an increase in hospitalizations,” said Ferrer.
But, said Ferrer, “cases are increasing due to the spread of the community” as more people spend more time outdoors.
At the start of last week, the seven-day average of the daily test positivity rate increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.4%. On Monday, LA County Health revealed that the seven-day positivity rate was 9.5%.
While the county has announced that it can now run 26,000 tests a day, Monday’s appointments are already full, according to health officials.