COVID-19 testing site opens in MacArthur Park in effort to expand access for Latinos

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A man wearing a facemask walks in front of a closed store in the Westlake area by MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on May 21, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

A man wearing a facemask walks in front of a closed store in the Westlake area by MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on May 21, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

A new COVID-19 testing site set to offer 1,500 free tests weekly was set to open in MacArthur Park Wednesday morning.

Testing will be conducted inside the Consulate General of Mexico starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Regular testing hours will then be held five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Staffers will be able to help residents who speak Spanish, Zapotec, Quiché, or other Mayan languages, according to L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis’ office.

Solis worked with Consul General of Mexico Marcela Celorio to open the site in an effort to expand testing access for Latinos, the supervisor’s office said.

Excluding cases reported by Long Beach and Pasadena, which run their own health agencies, Latinos account for about 35% of confirmed coronavirus cases and 49% of deaths in L.A. County. That death rate compares to 24% among white residents, 15% among Asian Americans, 10% among African Americans and 1% among Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, according to the county.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County, including Long Beach and Pasadena, just surpassed 5,000 on Tuesday.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color, particularly Latinos, who make up much of the workforce in restaurants, construction sites and farms, Gov. Gavin Newsom has said.

A recent poll also found that the Latino community worry more about COVID-19 compared to other Californians.

On Monday, the city of Los Angeles opened a pop-up testing site at a Food4Less location near MacArthur Park that previously reported an outbreak. It will again offer free walk-up testing with no appointment required 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

The L.A. County website has a list of testing locations across the region, and residents with or without symptoms can make an appointment online.

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