Just before Christmas, the Department of Health announced that it was expanding access to free COVID testing amid growing demand around the holidays.
“The demand for COVID-19 testing is slowly increasing because residents of the county are in a hurry to test before meeting with loved ones and as a direct result of LA County’s increase in new cases,” officials said.
The changes took effect on Friday which include:
- Extended hours of operation on sites across LA County
- Additional week and weekend dates
- Additional mobile testing units in hard-hit areas
- Re-launching the Holiday Home Test Collection Program with new guidelines to reach more people and make it easier to test.
On Sunday, the number of provincial hospital admissions with COVID increased to 904, up from 849 the previous day, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 188 were in intensive care, one more from Saturday.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
December 26, 2021
New Cases: 8,891 (1,616,033 so far)
New Deaths: 7 (27,546 to date)
Current hospitals: 849 pic.twitter.com/bQRZxnlT2w
– LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) December 26, 2021
The number of hospital COVID patients has increased in recent weeks, after falling to a low of 551 in November.
The latest figures come amid an increase in reported cases that the province’s top health official has warned that infections could reach near-record levels by the end of the year.
Last week, President Joe Biden promised to distribute millions of free COVID tests and open more test sites.
Tests sold at home at drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS have been sold out for days because people rushed to test prior to holiday meetings. Walgreens limits people to four kits per purchase in stores and online and CVS limits people to six kits per purchase.
READ MORE | Amazon, Walmart and pharmacies limit the number of home COVID tests you can buy
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