Los Angeles will deploy a rapid mobile coronavirus testing unit to assisted living facilities, nursing homes and other residential complexes as needed, the mayor announced Thursday evening.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said if an assisted living facility resident has symptoms or if it seems an outbreak may start, the city will send a testing team to the location as soon as possible.
“Everyone has a right to be protected in this crisis, and they shouldn’t have to fight for that right,” Garcetti said.
Information on the unit is available online at coronavirus.lacity.org/assistedliving for more information on the mobile testing unit.
Garcetti said there are about 3,700 medical workers who have registered to help relieve workers at testing sites as well as help set up field hospitals, and to work at St. Vincent Medical Center in the Westlake District once it’s ready to serve as a coronavirus treatment facility.
But the mayor said the city is still processing a database of people who have signed up, and background checks need to be completed.
Hailing another act of goodwill, Garcetti said singer Rihanna and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey have donated $4.2 million to provide shelter and assistance for victims of domestic violence during the pandemic. The mayor noted that shelters for victims have been at capacity, causing some victims to be turned away.
Meanwhile, Garcetti said trash and recycling services will be increased throughout the city, noting that with people remaining home for about three weeks, more trash may be accumulating.
People can bring bags of trash or recyclable materials to the curb if they don’t fit in their bins, meet the truck when it arrives and give the bags to collectors, free of charge on regularly scheduled pickup days.
The additional services will begin Monday and continue until the Safer at Home orders are lifted, Garcetti said. People can call 1-800-773-2489 for more information or 311 during normal business hours.
Garcetti said under the auspices of the city and county, 4,000 people were tested for COVID-19 Thursday, bringing this week’s total to 30,000 completed tests. Garcetti said he hopes 60,000 people will be tested by the end of next week.
Seeing a disproportionate effect of the coronavirus on the black community, Garcetti said the city has doubled its testing efforts at Crenshaw Christian Center.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials reported Tuesday that black people have experienced a disproportionate death rate from the virus than other ethnicities.
“It’s not enough to identify a problem,” Garcetti said. “We have to take swift action to save lives, and I hope this is an example across the country of making sure that no community that faces tougher health indicators will die because we did not react to the numbers that we saw.”
The city of Los Angeles saw 227 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing its total to 3,587.
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