Amid a major surge in demand for coronavirus testing over the holidays, Los Angeles County announced Friday that it is expanding its testing services.
Residents have been rushing to get tested before gathering with loved ones over the holidays as the county faces another COVID-19 surge under the threat of the new, highly-transmissible omicron variant.
The county reported 9,988 new coronavirus cases Friday, 8,633 on Thursday and 6,509 the day before.
The L.A. County Department of Health Services announced that it is moving to deliver an “urgent expansion” of the county’s free testing services.
As part of the expansion, the county brought back the Holiday Home Test Collection Program, which offers residents free at-home nasal swab tests if they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they’ve been exposed to the virus.
Other changes include extending hours of operation at testing sites across L.A. County, opening the sites on additional days and adding more mobile testing units in hard-hit areas.
“LA County residents are doing right by getting tested as a precaution before gathering, if they have been exposed and at the first sign of symptoms,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of L.A. County Department of Health Services.