LOS ANGELES, CA – The Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda L. Solis, First District, and co-authored by Janice Hahn, Fourth District, on enhancing and expanding COVID-19 testing response.

Each day, the County is setting new daily records for confirmed cases, with some days over 30,000 new cases reported at an over 22% test positivity rate. Although early reports indicate that Omicron can result in fewer severe cases, its rapid spread can still result in healthcare systems being overwhelmed and can have massive detrimental impacts to the economy and society due to sheer amounts of infected and exposed individuals needing to isolate and/or quarantine.

“We are once again finding ourselves experiencing a dark winter,” said Supervisor Solis. “COVID-19 testing is as important as ever and to that end, it is crucial that we engage with federal, state, and commercial partners to acquire more supplies of tests in an effort to equitably distribute them and ensure access. Not only will this help contain the high rates of transmission across the County, but it is also essential to keep society running, schools open, and for effective implementation of life-saving antiviral medicines.”

The County has a massive testing infrastructure in place, with testing sites located in vulnerable communities county-wide, run by both County departments and by County partners. However, due to the skyrocketing demand for testing and strained staffing capacity, wait times at some testing locations can often take hours, and some partner sites are not able to offer appointments until days later. This situation is exacerbated by the nationwide shortage of rapid, at-home antigen tests, which are consistently sold out at stores and pharmacies across the County and the State.

“Every resident seeking a test is trying to do their best to protect their loved ones, coworkers, and their community,” said Supervisor Hahn, who co-authored the motion. “It is unacceptable how long our residents have had to wait or how far they have had to drive just to get tested for COVID-19 these past few weeks. LA County is going to step up to meet the demands for tests the same way we stepped up to meet the demands for vaccines this past year.”

The motion approved today directs the County’s Chief Executive Office, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health (Public Health), the Department of Health Services (DHS), and Internal Services Department, and in support of a coordinated community testing strategy, to continue to work with State and federal partners to secure further allocations of rapid, at-home antigen tests for community distribution and, if necessary, identify potential funding sources, including the public health emergency funding identified in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Spending Plan approved by the Board on July 27, 2021, to support the procurement of antigen tests.

Additionally, the motion directs the CEO, and the County departments mentioned above, to monitor new funding streams from State and federal sources, including the public health emergency funding identified in the ARPA Spending Plan, that could expand DHS’ LA County Home Test Collection program throughout the duration of the surge, support the establishment of expanded testing capacity in areas of high need, including additional high-capacity drive-thru sites and new sites in convenient neighborhood locations, including but not limited to evening and weekend hours.

To view the full motion, click here.

There are free testing sites are located throughout the County and residents can go to covid19.lacounty.gov/testing or call 2-1-1 to find out information about where to get tested. The County has also re-launched the At-Home Test Collection Program where residents with COVID-19 symptoms or a recent exposure receive an at-home testing nasal swab kit via mail. To request an at-home test kit, residents can visit covid19.lacounty.gov/la-county-holiday-home-test-collection-program. For all residents being tested for COVID-19, immigration status is never requested or taken into account and health insurance is not required.