Long Beach to open 3 new COVID-19 testing sites this weekend

Two additional people died of coronavirus in Long Beach, bringing the city’s total to 20, officials announced.

Both the individuals, a man and a woman, were in their 80s and had underlying health conditions, Mayor Robert Garcia said at an afternoon media briefing Friday.

The city now has 419 positive cases—a number officials expect to grow as more people are tested, Garcia said, adding that 220 people have now recovered from the illness.

“These are folks that are now at home, and healthy,” he said. “We’re very heartened by that.”

New testing sites

Garcia also announced that the city will vastly expand its testing capacity by adding three new locations where the public can be screened for COVID-19: Jordan High School in North Long Beach, Cabrillo High School in West Long Beach and St. Mary Medical Center Downtown.

All three sites will be on board by this weekend, and residents will be able to begin making appointments tonight by visiting the city’s website: longbeach.gov/covid19.

Tests are still being administered at a drive-through clinic on the Pacific Coast campus of Long Beach City College in Central Long Beach, which has been testing 60 to 80 people a day, the mayor said.

When the additional sites come aboard, the city will be able to test 500 people per day, Garcia.

“All sites are open to the public, at no cost, and we will test anyone whether you have insurance or not, whether you are documented or not,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure everyone is safe and has a test.”

The two sites at schools will be run by the city’s Health Department, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. seven days a week, starting Saturday. Roughly 120 people will be able to be tested at each location.

The St. Mary site will operate as a drive-through and will be open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hospital expects to test approximately 200 people per day at the facility.

LBCC site is a partnership between the city and county, and can test 100 people per day.

Dr. Anissa Davis, the city’s health officer, said the city still needs to be judicious with its tests, which will be reserved for those who have symptoms. Testing is also prioritized for those who are 65 and over or who have underlying health conditions.

Interested individuals should visit the City’s COVID-19 testing page and answer pre-screening questions. Residents can also call the city’s information line, 562-570-4636.

Earlier Friday, Los Angeles County health officials announced 40 more deaths due to the coronavirus, bringing its total number to 495.

Another 567 people in the county tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, bringing the county total to 11,391.

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Melissa has been a journalist for over two decades, starting her career as a reporter covering health and religion and moving into local news. She has worked as an editor for eight years, including seven years at the Press Telegram before joining the Long Beach Post in June 2018. She also serves as a part-time lecturer at Cal State Long Beach where she teaches multimedia journalism and writing.