This week in COVID-19 updates:
Testing Expands (Again)
Last week, we wrote about the State of California expanding COVID-19 testing to some specific groups of people (e.g. health care workers and residents of congregate living facilities) who do not yet show symptoms of COVID-19. But yesterday, both the City and County of Los Angeles extended their efforts even further, as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that L.A. has now become the first city in the nation to open up testing to all residents…whether or not an individual is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
In the official announcement, Garcetti said, “So long as COVID-19 spreads, we have to scale up our response — and because this disease can be a silent killer, we have carefully built the capacity to get more people tested…No one should have to wait, wonder, or risk infecting others. Don’t leave it to chance. Schedule a test.”
Please note, however, that according to the City’s testing appointment website:
“Priority for the same or next day testing is still given to people with symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Testing is also prioritized for certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public while working. Click the Testing for Front Line Workers button for more details.
Testing is by appointment only.”
To schedule an appointment, visit https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs. (Note: we’ve been hearing that the website has been a bit overwhelmed this morning, but also that people should keep trying and if you can’t get through today, more appointment slots will be added over the next few days.)
New Resource Pages
As the city, county and other agencies continue to roll out new resources, almost daily, we’ve also heard about a couple of new guides to help organize and navigate all the available information.
Just this morning, City L.A. Controller Ron Galperin released “a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Hub that gathers the latest federal, state and local data to give Los Angeles residents and businesses easy access to information and services they need to get through the coronavirus pandemic.” The site includes a map and tallies of local COVID-19 cases and deaths, a map showing how federal stimulus checks are being distributed in the city, and access portals organizing hundreds of different resources for eight different categories of people (see illustration above) in eight specific areas (food, financial support, testing and treatment, education, utilities and internet, city services, legal assistance, and arts and culture).
In addition, City Council Member David Ryu has created a slightly less extensive, but more easily printable, two-sheet resource list:
The next new item this week – specifically for people who have lost jobs, work hours, or income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – is a series of webinars on unemployment benefits, offered in both English and Spanish, by the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD).
According to the EWDD website, the free sessions (held in English at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 2 p.m. on Wednesdays) will “guide you through all available resources, including how to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) through CA EDD and health insurance.”
More From the Buzz
Finally, please remember that the Buzz has several special resources for you as well:
- A local COVID-19 case count, updated daily, showing the current tally cases in our nearby neighborhoods
- Larchmont to Go! – a list of our Larchmont neighborhood food and drink establishments and the menu items and services they’re offering during the COVID-19 restrictions
- A page of Local Business Announcements, which includes our neighborhood retail and other establishments as well as restaurants
- Our own page of COVID-19 Community Resources
- A page noting volunteer and donation opportunities, showing How You Can Help our community in these trying times
In addition, we’re currently offering free website ads for Larchmont-area businesses during the shutdown period…
…and, as always, we have a variety of other helpful services that can be useful these days, too: free self-service classified ads, free self-service business directory listings, free self-service calendar listings (and, yes, webinars and Zoom events can be listed!)…as well as a variety of other kinds of paid advertising opportunities (sponsored posts, e-mail ads, etc.).
So please take a look, and if you’d like more information on any of these, please contact [email protected].