After nearly a year since the first known case of COVID-19, testing still is not easy for everyone to access for free.
Even though Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in August that Los Angeles County would be the first to provide free testing to Angelenos whether they had symptoms or not, testing sites remain few and far between.
There are only three testing sites within a five mile radius of Pierce College, according to the County of Los Angeles COVID-19 resource website. The nearest one after that is more than seven miles away.
Pierce should institute a rapid testing site on campus for free.
The campus could perform antigen tests, which could see results as fast as 15 minutes.
The speed and availability would make it optimal for those who have been disproportionately impacted by it – racial and ethnic minorities. More than 65% of Pierce’s students identify as a person of color, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
If Pierce implemented a rapid testing site on its campus, they’d be providing a public health service not only for students but for members of the surrounding community.
At first it was thought that young people were safe from catching COVID-19. But new information shows that young adults make up more than 70% of new cases in LA County, according to a Los Angeles County tweet.
California State University Northridge (CSUN) already has announced that they will be implementing a rapid testing site on campus this month. The problem, however, is that it may cost up to $40 for those without insurance. Public schools should serve as sites for free rapid testing.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has launched efforts to provide testing to students, faculty and staff as well as for family members of those who test positive, according to a statement released by Superintendent Austin Beutner.
As the race for a vaccine has become hyper-politicized and outbreaks at schools nationwide continue to ravage communities, testing remains one of the best options for keeping the number of cases at bay.
COVID-19 testing is free for LA County whether you are showing symptoms or not. The test is free whether or not you have insurance. Learn more by visiting corona-virus.la/covid-19-testing.
Find a testing center near you: https://corona-virus.la/testing-center-map