Garcetti: Rapid Test Teams To Deploy To Nursing Homes With Suspected COVID Cases To Prevent Spread

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday announced a new rapid mobile test team that will deploy to facilities housing vulnerable populations to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We have a responsibility to keep the most vulnerable who live amongst us, our seniors, our grandparents and parents safe,” he said.

The news comes one day after the Motion and Picture Television Fund Nursing Home in Woodland Hills reported two COVID-related deaths, prompting a response from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“Our LAFD testing team deployed to that facility where they tested more than 100 seniors and employees right away and another 60 today,” Garcetti said.

According to Deadline, two male residents with compromised immune systems had died from the illness. Six other residents and four staffers have also tested positive for the virus.

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In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Garcetti said the city will now deploy a rapid mobile test team to facilities housing the elderly, chronically ill or debilitated — including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and respiratory hospitals.

“And if one of these facilities has a symptomatic resident or sees the start of an outbreak, we will send a testing team there as soon as possible to stop the spread and help save lives,” Garcetti said.

Facilities can request the mobile test team online after answering about a dozen questions including the number of residents, number of staff and if there has been any previous testing for COVID-19 at the facility.

“Everyone has a right to be protected in this crisis,” Garcetti said. “And they shouldn’t have to fight for that right.”