LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Starting Tuesday, rideshare, delivery and taxi drivers can start getting tested for the novel coronavirus, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms.
Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement Monday during his daily briefing on the city’s coronavirus response, stating that this is just the latest opening of testing as capacity continues to increase.
“These are folks that are on the frontlines, helping us get to where we need to go, helping us have food delivered to our homes and apartments and we have to keep them safe,” he said. “And these tests will do just that.”
By the end of Monday, approximately 125,000 Los Angeles County residents will have been tested.
Garcetti previously ordered monthly testing for residents and workers at skilled nursing facilities, expanded testing to critical workers with or without symptoms and deployed rapid response teams to skid row to increase testing for those experiencing homelessness.
Scheduling an appointment at one of the county’s 34 testing sites can be done online at the city’s website.
Garcetti also announced that the city, in partnership with the state, FEMA And local restaurants, would be expanding its senior meals program.
Starting Tuesday, seniors interested in enrolling in the senior meals program can call 213-263-5226 or sign up online.
“This is a win-win-win,” Garcetti said. “First of all, a win because we’re feeding folks who need meals, who are most at risk in this crisis and who we need to stay at home because coronavirus is the most deadly threat to them. It’s a win because we’re helping keep L.A.’s hard-hit hospitality and restaurant industries staying in business and to keep their workers on the job. And it’s a win because we’re saving lives and livelihoods through the power of partnerships.”
The program is for low-income seniors over the age of 65 or between the ages of 60-64 with an underlying medical condition.
Garcetti also announced that a fourth win would be added to the program by putting hard-hit taxi drivers back to work. The drivers would pick up meals directly from those who prepare them and deliver them to the doors of seniors most in need.
“As we know with our taxi drivers, though, it’s great,” Garcetti said. “They’re already providing meal and grocery deliveries to seniors throughout the region using face coverings and other protective gear to mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19. We wanted to make sure our seniors weren’t put in a vulnerable place by these deliveries. And all of this will be done safely.”
In the city of Los Angeles, there were 493 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, bringing the city’s total to 9,389 cases, a daily increase of roughly 5%.