Editor’s note: After this story was published, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that all the drive-up testing sites will be opened up for any symptomatic LA County resident to apply for testing, not just people in the most at-risk groups.
A free, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 will open Tuesday at Long Beach City College’s Pacific Coast Campus, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said today.
The site, which is part of a partnership with Los Angeles County and LA city, will be open by appointment only. Anyone trying to book a test will have to answer a series of questions through the county’s screening website to see if they qualify.
The Long Beach center is one of several across LA county, which are all open to Long beach residents, but the LBCC location will likely be the most convenient, Garcia said.
To start, the site will take about 100 appointments a day with the hope of increasing that number, according to city officials.
The test typically will take 48 hours to get results, said Sandy Wedgeworth, director of Public Health Emergency Management in Long Beach.
If someone is negative for COVID-19, they’ll receive a letter in the mail, according to Wedgeworth, but if they’re positive, an investigator will immediately call to begin tracing the patient’s contacts.
The testing site will be right next to the free rapid-response medical clinic that opened today at LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus. Both the clinic and drive-up testing sites are free and will serve those without insurance and those who are undocumented residents, the mayor said.
“I want to make sure all of you know, it’s available to you,” Garcia said.
The clinic, which serves people who otherwise might go to an emergency room for basic health services or assessment, saw 50 people in the first few hours it was open Monday, according to Wedgeworth.
On average, the workers, who are part of a volunteer health corp in Long Beach, are spending 10 minutes with each patient.
“We said we would do rapid, and that’s what we’re doing,” she said.
The clinic and testing site are both open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
To see if you are eligible for a test, click here. You’ll be asked to answer basic questions, including name, date of birth, address and whether they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. The website—in real time—determines and confirms an individual’s testing eligibility.
Those who receive confirmation of testing eligibility will then be given a selection of testing sites, and available appointment times to complete the test registration process. The registration number will be required information at the testing site. All of the testing locations are drive-up and clients stay in their vehicles for tests—though pedestrian clients with appointments can be tested, as well.
The test is a self-administered oral swab, meaning clients must swab their own mouths/throats using instructions provided to them at the site. The testing process takes between five and 10 minutes, however waiting times may vary.
— City News Service contributed to this report
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