US: Los Angeles becomes first city to offer free COVID-19 testing for all
Los Angeles will begin offering coronavirus testing for free to all citizens regardless of whether they have symptoms, Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday, adding that LA is the first major US city to take such an initiative.
During the press conference, Garcetti announced that all county residents can now get free coronavirus testing. He said the announcement will only apply to city residents for now, but that a similar plan is in development for Los Angeles County,
Garcetti also took to Twitter to announce the same. "Announcing that L.A. is now the first major city in America to offer free COVID-19 testing to all residents. While priority will still be given to those with symptoms, individuals without symptoms can also be tested. Sign up at Coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing," he said
Under the new guidelines, priority for the same- or next-day testing will still be given to people with symptoms, such as a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The free testing will also be prioritized for certain critical frontline workers who interact with the public.
Until now, only residents with symptoms as well as essential workers and those in institutional settings like nursing homes could be tested.
On Wednesday, the LA County reported 1,541 new cases, bringing the total to 22,485 - a seven per cent increase since yesterday.
This includes a backlog of cases that were processed. In the city, there were 683 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 10,380 -- a 7 per cent increase since yesterday.