A new COVID-19 testing site opened at Dodger Stadium Tuesday, which city officials say will accommodate three times more people than any other testing site in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas, Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten and Ann Lee of the nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort spoke about the new testing site, which the mayor said is now the largest in the United States.
“I know we’d rather be here in a different context. We’d rather be here rooting on the boys in blue,” Garcetti said. “We’re excited to do this because this builds on the work we’ve been doing for the past weeks and months. We want testing to be easy, accessible and free for everybody here in Los Angeles.”
In announcing the center on Friday, Garcetti said health officials would be testing as many as 6,000 people a day at the new location, where he said he was tested for COVID-19 himself.
“There’s a lot more that goes on here than just baseball. Through the years, we’ve had concerts, we’ve had cultural events in the stadium,” Kasten said. “But I don’t know that anything’s ever been more important than what brings us here today.”
The mayor said the city has 10 testing sites and there are 36 across Los Angeles County. On average, 15,000 people in the county are tested a day, but the capacity exists to test about 20,000.
“Now, even with baseball season on hold, we can still go to the stadium to find help and hope,” Garcetti said. “And we have specifically designed this site to move people through the process quickly, alleviating long lines and wait times.”
Video screens show footage of how the test works to drivers waiting in line, in an effort to make testing quick and keep lines moving.
CORE has been supporting the LAFD by providing volunteers to relieve firefighters from testing sites.
“We jumped into this unprecedented response,” Lee said. “Thanks to our partners, we’ve helped to ensure that all Angelenos have access to free COVID-19 tests, regardless of socioeconomic or immigration status.”
Any Los Angeles County resident can get tested for free, but must make an appointment online ahead of time. Priority will be given to those with symptoms and for front-line workers.
Those who want a free COVID-19 test can sign up at lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs.