Testing update

A second COVID-19 testing site opened for drive-in patients in the parking lot of the Antelope Valley Mall on Friday, part of Los Angeles County’s effort to reach its goal of testing 10,000 people per day for the virus.

The Antelope Valley has two drive-in testing sites for COVID-19 operating now as Los Angeles County public health officials strive to reach their goal of testing 10,000 people daily for the virus.

Testing by appointment only to eligible residents with symptoms of COVID-19 is available at the High Desert Medical Group’s main clinic, 43839 15th St. West in Lancaster, and at the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale.

Residents may visit https://corona-virus.la/ to register for testing and receive an appointment if qualified.

Those without Internet access may call the Los Angeles County information number 211, and tell the community resource advisor they need to register for testing.

Testing is available for those with COVID-19 symptoms who are age 65 or older or who have underlying chronic health conditions, and those who are subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period due to being exposed to someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and with at least seven days of quarantine remaining.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the most common symptoms of COVID 19 are fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

The Lancaster site, a partnership with the county, High Desert Medical Group and city of Lancaster, opened Wednesday and had tested 86 people as of Thursday. Officials hoped to increase that figure to 100 each on Friday and Saturday as word of the testing site spread.

The goal is to work up to 200 people a day, next week, according to High Desert Medical Group Administrator Rafael Gonzalez.

A dozen High Desert Medical Group nurses with full personnel protective equipment are administering the tests to patients who remain in the their cars. No walk-in patients are accepted.

All car windows remain rolled up except the one closest to the patient being tested.

City staff helped provide traffic and safety control, Gonzalez said.

“This was a collaboration with all agencies, and we are happy that the government officials were impressed with High Desert Medical Group’s quick response,” Gonzalez said. “I’m proud of our HDMG Coronavirus Task force for their diligence in putting forth the testing site and grateful to the conscientious and dedicated clinical team for stepping up and helping their community.”

Similar drive-in procedures are in use at the Palmdale site, which is a collaboration with the county, City of Palmdale, Antelope Valley Mall and Palmdale Regional Medical Center.

Los Angeles County officials are in discussions to open a third testing site in Lancaster.

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