Los Angeles County officials announced on Sunday they’re working on adding more COVID-19 drive-up mobile testing sites as the number of confirmed cases climbed to 5,940 countywide with 132 deaths.
Another 15 deaths and 663 new infections were reported Sunday, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health news release.
Eleven of the people who died most recently had underlying health conditions and 10 of them were over the age of 65. Two patients who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old and one person was between 18 to 40 years old.
“Each death represents a person, not just a number, and I am so sorry for every family member and loved one lost to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department’s director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. “We have some very difficult days ahead and now is the time for all of us to redouble our physical distancing efforts and look after our neighbors, friends, and families who may be at the highest risk for serious illness from COVID-19.”
The county on Saturday recorded its biggest one-day increase of fatalities related to the virus, reporting a total of 28 deaths in just 24 hours.
There have been 1,374 new cases reported in the county over the last 48 hours alone, the agency said.
“L.A. is quickly ramping up and adding more COVID-19 drive-up mobile testing sites to serve all residents of our communities,” county officials said in a news release Sunday.
So far, 31,000 people have been tested for the virus and 14% of them were found to be infected.
New sites are planned to open this week at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in the Willowbrook area of South L.A. and in unspecified locations in East L.A. and Santa Clarita, according to the county.
L.A. County is also discussing bringing several urgent care facilities from AltaMed into the county’s in underserved areas, officials said.
Even as the county has stepped up testing after a slow start, supplies remain limited and those who are most vulnerable to serious illness or most at risk of infection are being prioritized.
Residents can find out if they’re eligible for testing by answering questions online or calling 211. If they are found to be eligible, they can register for an appointment, which are available for the next day only.
People can’t show up and get a test at any of the sites without an appointment.
Here are all the testing sites currently open in L.A. County:
- Antelope Valley Mall (1233 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale, CA 91768)
- Pomona Fairplex (Gate 17 – W. McKinley/Fairplex Drive)
- South Bay Galleria (1815 Hawthorne Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278)
- Carbon Health – Echo Park – Walk-Up Only (2110 Sunset Blvd., Suite M, Los Angeles, CA 90026)
- Crenshaw Christian Center (7901 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90044)
- Glendale Memorial Hospital (222 W. Eulalia St., Glendale, CA 91204)
- Hansen Dam Recreational Center (entrance on Osborne St., 11798 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342)
- High Desert Medical Group (43839 15th St. W., Lancaster, CA 93534
- Hotchkin Memorial Training Center (1700 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012)
- VA Parking Lot 15 (at corner of Constitution and Davis, 100 Constitution Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095
- Northridge Hospital Medical Center (18460 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge, CA 91325 (enter on Reseda Blvd.)
Residents don’t need a car to get tested at the drive-up sites since they can all accommodate pedestrian traffic, officials said.
It takes about three to four days to get results back after being tested at the county’s sites and those we test positive are notified by phone.
People who have health insurance were told to first contact their medical providers and request COVID-19 testing through their own networks, which have testing locations throughout the county.
Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Saturday to significantly expand the availability of COVID-19 testing for Californians and said officials are working to increase the amount of daily tests conducted by 500% over the next few weeks.
“You deserve more and better,” the governor said.
As of Sunday, 1,257 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in L.A. County have needed hospitalization at some point. Statewide, around 2,300 people were hospitalized as of Saturday and about 1,000 of them were in intensive care units.
Public health officials have urged residents to adhere to stay-at-home orders and stay at least 6 feet away from others when outside in order to curb the spread of the virus as hospitals brace for a flood of patients.
About 75% of of people who died from the respiratory illness were over 65 years of age and older, and 85% of deaths have been among people with underlying health conditions, according to the health department.
“If you are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant, please make sure you are staying home at all times and allowing others to shop for your essential goods,” Ferrer said. “As we all work together to slow the spread, we need to also do our best to make sure our most vulnerable are supported so they can safely remain home.”