This US city is now the first major American city to offer Covid-19 tests to anybody who wants one
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that anybody who wants a Covid-19 test can now sign up to get one.
- Los Angeles is the first major city in the US to extend testing to people who have no symptoms of the coronavirus. Front-line workers and those with signs of Covid-19 will continue to have priority.
- The city now has the capacity to test over 18,000 people per day.
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Back in March, US President Donald Trump promised that "anybody that wants a test can get a test." That was not true then - but, eight weeks later, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says it is now the case in his city, making it the first in the nation to achieve the milestone.
"We know that coronavirus is a silent killer that moves quietly through the population," Garcetti said at an April 29 press conference, announcing the move. As of Wednesday night, Los Angeles had over 1,000 deaths from the virus and 22,485 cases.
"Many people who transmit the disease - this is why it is so deadly - don't know that they have it," the mayor noted. "And this illustrates why making testing available to anyone who wants it is essential. We heard national leaders talk about that in early March, but it's difficult for folks to scale that ."
Los Angeles has tested over 140,000 people over the last month and has the capacity to test 18,000 more every day. Effective immediately, according to Los Angeles' testing website, that includes anybody - "whether or not you are experiencing Covid-19" - who schedules an appointment.
As of April 21, there were 35 testing sites across Los Angeles County, which is home to more than 10 million people. Front-line workers and those exhibiting symptoms will still be given priority for tests, which remain limited.
"As long as this disease spreads, we have to continue to scale," Garcetti said.
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