File Photo. Kit Karzen

Los Angeles County launched a walk-up coronavirus testing site at Santa Monica College Thursday.

Testing will be by appointment only and registration is now open. While anyone can sign up for a test, people who have COVID-19 symptoms and asymptomatic people who are older than 65, have chronic health conditions or are essential workers will be prioritized.

The testing site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays at SMC’s Airport Arts Campus at 2800 Airport Ave. The site will be accessible to pedestrians with appointments, and parking will be available for those who arrive by car.

Test results may take up to two to three days, said city of Santa Monica spokesperson Constance Farrell. Individuals with positive test results will be notified by phone, and people who test negative can access their results on a secure website.

“Access to testing is an indicator in the safe re-opening of our economy and civic life,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “We appreciate the Governor and Los Angeles County’s ongoing efforts to take bold and aggressive steps to protect the public health. We encourage Santa Monicans to take advantage of this new resource close to home.” 

Previously, the closest public testing site to Santa Monica was at the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration campus. As of Thursday, there were 203 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths among Santa Monica residents.

The SMC testing site will open alongside seven other county-operated sites as part of a partnership with health services company OptumServe to provide 80 new testing sites across California. The new sites will bring the total number of public testing sites in L.A. County to 47, according to a press release.

“We’re so pleased to partner with the state and OptumServe to help meet county and state goals for testing,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the county’s Department of Health Services.  “Our focus has been on expanding testing capacity among vulnerable populations and in underserved, at-risk, and low-income communities. These new state-supported sites are an important part of the overall plan to expand testing access in areas that most need it.”

To determine where to locate new testing sites, the state and county looked at both rural and urban areas with currently limited access to testing sites, with consideration for underserved populations, racial and ethnic disparities, and median income, according to a press release.

Immigration status, insurance status, age or underlying health issues do not affect testing eligibility.

Please visit lhi.care/covidtesting to register. For more information on all available county testing sites, please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.

Residents without digital access can call (888) 634-1123, where operators can assist with registration and schedule an appointment. 

madeleine@smdp.com

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Santa Monica College would host a drive-through testing site. A walk-up testing site will be located at SMC.

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