On Friday, Los Angeles County’s new daily coronavirus cases crossed the 3,000 mark, with a record 3,187 reported. Over the weekend, L.A.’s largest COVID testing site seems to have closed down with no explanation.
When asked about the closure of the Dodger Stadium site a county official said, “It would be best to address those questions to the city.”
The site is currently closed according to a report by NBC News and accounts on social media today.
“Dodger Stadium is closed right now,” said an MSNBC. “When we called the City of Los Angeles, they said that this had something to do with staffing levels…However, now we’re hearing that this may have something to do with funding at the county level and reimbursements.”
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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office did not immediately respond when contacted by Deadline about the situation.
The official Los Angeles City COVID test appointment site makes no mention of the closure.
This comes after weeks of complaints from residents about the paucity of testing, including on Monday.
On June 24, Garcetti said the city was surging its testing capacity. The mayor said he is ordering the city to “scale up testing to meet the demand,” going from 7,700 tests a day last week to 13,600 tests.
“Get out and get tested,” said the mayor at the time. Garcetti made no mention of the Dodger Stadium closure during a media availability on Monday morning.
Last week, Garcetti banned Fourth of July fireworks displays and gatherings with people outside of those one lives with. County officials took the extraordinary step of re-closing restaurants to dine-in service and ordering movie theaters to stay closed for at least 3 weeks.
Ferrer announced on Monday that “almost 50 percent of new cases happen to young people” under 40. The upside of this, she said, “is that we have had a decline in deaths, thankfully, in the skilled nursing facilities.”
Ferrer reported 48 additional deaths on Monday. That means there hav been 3,534 total fatalities from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.
When asked about the smaller number of deaths recently, Ferrer referred again to the rising numbers of young people contracting the virus and their generally healthier immune systems.
“We often have a delay for deaths from when we start to see increased hospitalizations,” reminded Ferrer.
But, Ferrer said, “Cases are surging as a result of community spread” as more people spend more time out and about.
Early last week, the seven-day average of the daily testing positivity rate increased from 5.8 percent two weeks ago to 8.4 percent. On Monday, L.A. County Health revealed the seven-day positivity rate was up to 9.5 percent.
While the county announced it now has the ability to implement 26,000 tests a day, the appointments for Monday were already filled, according to health officials.