Dodger Stadium Testing Site Reopens For First Time Since May Amid Rising Covid Cases In L.A.

Coronavirus
Dodger Stadium Covid testing earlier in the pandemic Ringo Chiu/AP

Amid rising infection numbers in Los Angeles, health-care startup Curative has re-launched its Covid testing site at Dodger Stadium, the company announced today.

The site began offering free, drive-thru PCR nasal tests on Monday. People can access the site by entering through the downtown Gate E entrance.

Curative previously partnered with Sean Penn’s CORE for a mass Covid testing site that operated during the pandemic, but Curative’s Pasquale Gianni said the new site is operated by Curative alone.

The site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, with a brief closure from noon to 12:30 p.m. for lunch. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 400 appointment slots were available to book each day through Sunday.

Test results are expected within one to two days of the swabs arriving at Curative’s labs.

Curative is an L.A.-based startup that, according to the L.A. Times, billed more than $1 billion in total business before the FDA announced in January that the company’s oral swab test could produce false results. Curative later switched to a nasal swab test from Abbott Molecular which, according to a patient fact sheet linked to from the company’s site, is the test it’s still using. The City of L.A. has paid curative about $85 million to date, according to spokesperson for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office.

The Dodger Stadium announcement comes two days after California quietly renewed its $1.7 billion contract with the large, troubled testing lab it launched with PerkinElmer last year.

The previous Dodger Stadium testing site was the largest in the United States during 2020, administering a million COVID-19 tests between May 2020 and January 2021. The site was transitioned into a mass-vaccination center on Jan. 15 and then ended operations at the end of May, as the city shifted more doses to appointment-free, walk-up vaccination sites and mobile clinics.

In the last week of October, Covid test positivity rates and virus-related hospitalizations rose in Los Angeles and California for the first time in months. In Los Angeles last Thursday, county officials reported that test positivity had risen to 1.2% from a low of 0.7% on October 18. That may not seem like much, but it’s a 71% rise over 10 days in a measure that’s a 7-day average, which smooths out daily bumps. As of Tuesday, Los Angeles County’s rolling average daily rate of people testing positive was 1.3%, a hair short of a 100% rise since October 18.

City News Service contributed to this report.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/11/dodger-stadium-covid-testing-reopens-1234871143/