Testing Ain’t Easy: LA Edition
A quick reminder that no matter what gets said at new conferences, things like “we are going to test X amount of people” involves logistics of actually getting X number of people tested.
A website set up by Los Angeles for residents to get tested for the coronavirus, regardless of whether they have symptoms, encountered some problems after a countywide testing initiative began last week.
Some Angelenos complained on social media that there were no time slots available on the website, which states that testing is available by appointment only, with priority given to front-line workers and people with symptoms of Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus. The tests are free for all residents of Los Angeles County, which is collaborating with the city on the effort.
Other people said that they were unable to access the website, which requires visitors to give their name, address, date of birth, gender and race or ethnicity on an intake form.
“If testing slots are booked when you visit the site, we encourage you to revisit the site later in the day for slots that may have reopened due to no shows,” the city said in a Twitter post on Saturday night.
The website experienced a surge in visitors in recent days after Mayor Eric Garcetti declared last week that Los Angeles would become the first major U.S. city to offer all residents tests for the virus, which health officials said on Sunday had caused 1,229 deaths in Los Angeles County.
Mr. Garcetti said on Friday that he was very confident of the ability of the website to keep up with the demand for tests.
During his daily briefing on Friday, he said that health officials were reserving time slots for front-line workers and people with symptoms. As the day goes on, he said, spaces open up because of no-shows or fewer requests for appointments.