LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dodger Stadium, the nation's largest COVID-19 testing site, will cease testing for the virus and shift to a massive vaccination site, the city announced Sunday.
Testing operations at the stadium will end Monday, the city said. The site will be converted to vaccination by the end of the week, reaching up to 12,000 vaccinations per day once it is fully operational.
"From early on in this pandemic, Dodger Stadium has been home base for our testing infrastructure, a vital part of our effort to track the spread of COVID-19, try to get ahead of outbreaks, and save lives," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the City, County, and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible."
Health officials have been looking for a way to increase vaccinations. As of last week, more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been shipped to California, but only a third of that inventory had been administered.
On Monday, L.A. County health officials said along with Dodger Stadium and more than 70 other sites, more vaccination sites will be added to get frontline workers vaccinated in the coming weeks.
L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said five sites, in addition to private-partner sites, will allow for additional 500,000 vaccinations among healthcare workers by the end of January.
Last Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a goal of administering 1 million vaccines statewide by the end of this week.
City officials acknowledged closing the site will reduce the overall testing capability available in the region - but it will triple vaccine distribution. They noted the city continues to operate eight permanent and six mobile sites, and testing will be expanded at some of those existing sites.
A testing site at Pierce College in Woodland Hills is expanding to accommodate more people.
The city opened Dodger Stadium for COVID-19 testing in May 2020 and since then more than 1 million tests have been administered there.