LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Los Angeles will offer free coronavirus tests to all residents regardless of whether they show any symptoms, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“Announcing that L.A. is now the first major city in America to offer free COVID-19 testing to all residents,” Garcetti tweeted Wednesday.
Priority will be given to those with symptoms and front-line workers but individuals without symptoms can also be tested.
Along with hand-washing and social distancing “testing is one of the best tools that we have to stop the spread of this virus,” Garcetti said at his daily briefing.
Working class people and those living in poverty in Los Angeles are suffering disproportionate rates of infection and had the highest rates of death per capita in the county, he said, citing a health department report.
“While the virus can infect everybody, it doesn’t affect everybody equally,” he said.
Residents can sign up online to schedule a test.
Los Angeles County reported 1,541 new cases Wednesday, Garcetti said, bringing its total to 23,485 infections and 1,056 deaths.
© Agence France-Presse