Los Angeles mayor promises free coronavirus testing to all residents, regardless of symptoms

Los Angeles mayor promises free coronavirus testing to all residents, regardless of symptoms
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Los Angeles will become the first major U.S. city to offer coronavirus testing for all residents regardless of whether they have symptoms, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) announced Wednesday.

Garcetti said the announcement will apply only to city residents for now but that a similar plan is in development for Los Angeles County, adding that both the city and county have ramped up testing capacity enough to cover the increase in testing, according to NBC News.

Garcetti said tests will be available by appointment only at more than 30 centers throughout the city. While testing will be free and available to all, people with symptoms will be prioritized, the mayor said.

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Last Wednesday, Garcetti announced that Los Angeles County will offer tests to first responders, health care workers and grocery store workers even if they do not have symptoms.

"I know that that's going to relieve a lot of our men and women who are worried about going home and potentially infecting their family," Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said, noting that a police detective had contracted the virus without symptoms and that the detective’s wife had later died.

Health care experts have said increased testing capacity is key to being able to lift social distancing measures related to the pandemic. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's 12:30 Report: White House, Dems debate coronavirus relief package Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day Fauci: It's 'entirely conceivable' we could be 'way down' on level of cases by November MORE, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said this week that the country is moving in the right direction on testing, adding that he is hopeful tests will be available for everyone who needs one by late May or early June.