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Cal State L.A. has opened a new COVID-19 testing site that will service the university’s surrounding neighborhoods and beyond. In partnership with Los Angeles County and the governor’s office, university and local officials hope the site will help in stopping the spread of the virus. 

“This partnership is a testament to the role colleges and universities have in our society and their commitment to helping us get around COVID-19,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Many of our hardest-working families are either uninsured or underinsured and don’t normally seek access to health care, which is why increasing access to COVID-19 testing sites remains one of my top priorities.” Solis has championed the initiative, as her First Supervisorial District includes the university. 

Located at the Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center, testing will be available for free to all Los Angeles County residents. Priority appointments for same- or next-day testing will be reserved for certain critical front-line workers who work a public-facing job as well as for people presenting symptoms. 

“This new testing site will service the surrounding neighborhoods of El Sereno, City Terrace, Lincoln Heights and East L.A. to name a few — all communities which I represent, where essential workers live and where our most vulnerable residents, like children, the elderly and undocumented families reside and need assistance,” says Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, a Cal State L.A. alumna. “Every person, regardless of legal status, should be able to be tested and be taken care of with compassion and dignity.”

With both of her parents being essential workers, Carrillo is passionate about making sure all Angelenos are protected. “As an alumni of CSULA, I’m proud this location is central to so many vibrant ethnic communities in Los Angeles given that national reports indicate that Latinos and other minorities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to working in industries that may be low-wage, lacking health care but classified as essential during this pandemic,” she says. “This is very much the case for the city of Los Angeles where Latinos are the majority population.”

According to the college’s website, COVID-19 testing will be available at the Cal State L.A. site from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be conducted by appointment only.

Thanks to the joint efforts of Cal State L.A., Supervisor Solis, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services, residents in need of testing can schedule their free appointment via the Los Angeles County COVID-19 testing website. Alternatively, those who do not have access to the internet can call 2-1-1, where an operator will assist them.

“As the nation and the world work to contain this pandemic, Cal State L.A. will continue to do its part to serve the public good and to meet the needs of our community,” said Cal State L.A. Executive Vice President and Provost Jose A. Gomez, at the news conference announcing the site. “Everyone in our community — from families, to first responders, to front-line medical workers — will be able to be tested quickly and accurately.”

Testing will be conducted in person, inside the building itself, as opposed to drive-up. Parking can be found on the west side of Paseo Rancho Castilla, and is designated for test site visitors only. 

Carrillo is hopeful that the announcement of the new testing site will encourage at-risk and vulnerable populations to get tested without trepidation. 

“Today’s announcement is yet another victory in the fight against COVID-19,” said Carrillo during yesterday’s news conference at the center, which is located at the southern gateway of the university. “One test can save a life, save a family, and it can save a generation.”

For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu

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