Los Angeles County is rolling out a new platform for scheduling COVID-19 testing, and new features will include the ability to cancel or reschedule appointments, officials announced Monday.
The county’s main testing website will remain at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing, but scheduling for the nine county-run screening locations can also be accessed directly at la.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment. The main hub also includes a list of other free testing sites operated by the city, state and private providers.
Scheduling will migrate to the new platform Monday evening, officials said.
Appointments for city-run sites — which allow anyone to get a test, including those without symptoms of COVID-19 — can be scheduled through corona-virus.la/covid-19-testing. This includes the drive-thru location at Dodger Stadium, the largest site in the county with the capacity to test 6,500 people a day.
The platform change comes as L.A. County works to expand its testing capacity, including by adding around eight new locations. Increased demand amid surging spread and closures over the Fourth of July holiday weekend resulted in limited availability over the past few weeks, officials said.
The city is also working to offer more tests, and Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday that an additional 8,000 appointments would be available this week.
L.A. continues to see much higher numbers of infections and fatalities than other parts of California, which on Monday rolled back the reopening of gyms, salons, malls, restaurants and places of worship operating indoors.
L.A. County on Monday reported nearly 2,600 new coronavirus cases and another 13 deaths, bringing its total to 136,129 cases and 3,822 fatalities.
The new L.A. County scheduling portal aims to be more user-friendly, and it will help officials “streamline” operations to keep up with demand, said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s health services director.
The website was developed by Fulgent Genetics, the lab used at county-run testing locations. Because it will directly interface with the lab, officials expect it to reduce data processing errors and result in fewer results delayed due to demographic information being mismatched with test kits.
The new system will also collect private insurance information, which is meant to help the county recover the cost of providing screenings. The tests will remain free to residents, regardless of whether they have insurance.
California ordered all public and commercial insurance plans to cover the entire cost of the tests in March.
Officials encourage those with a primary care provider to contact their doctor about testing before scheduling an appointment at a publicly run testing site.
Those without insurance can learn more about their options by calling 211.
County-run sites only offer testing to those who have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath; who live or work in a high-risk setting; or who have been exposed to someone who tested positive. Ghaly has said widespread testing among the general population is “really not feasible or realistic.”
People who feel sick or think they may have been exposed to the virus are advised to self-isolate until they can get test results.