COVID Orange County update: New COVID-19 testing site opens for 30-day period in Irvine

Get updates on the coronavirus in Orange County including new case numbers, response efforts and latest news.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Cars were lined up at Orange County's Great Park on Monday for the first day of a 30-day COVID-19 testing period for people who live and work in Irvine -- the first city in the county to offer such testing regardless of symptoms.

"We get so many calls that our residents don't know where to go get tested," Irvine Mayor Christina Shea said. "It's been very confusing, so we thought if we open up our great park and allow for drive-thru testing, this would give our residents an opportunity to drive through."

It's a partnership with a number of labs and Curogram - a company that helps automate the process with the goal of delivering results to patients in less than three days.

RELATED: Coronavirus Testing: What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?

There's so much interest that all 3,200 spots have been reserved for the month, and the city's looking to expand testing to another 30 days.

The hope is that with increased testing, people who are positive can quarantine, and therefore bring the numbers down.

Meanwhile, free COVID-19 antibody tests is being administered in Aliso Viejo on Tuesday.

Testing is being held parking lot at Coast Hills Church on Pursuit Drive through the afternoon.

The blood test can tell if someone contracted coronavirus in the past and has developed immunity to it.

On Monday, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported 540 new cases, with a slight decrease in a three-day average of hospitalizations at 674 patients hospitalized.

Meanwhile, as the state shuts down more industry operations again, Newport Beach City Hall has been closed to the public. The city made the decision last week based on concerns for the health and safety of employees and the public.

RELATED: OC officials approve proposal recommending schools reopen without mask, physical distancing requirements

As the school year approaches, controversy sparked in Orange County over the Board of Education's proposal to recommend schools reopen without both physical distancing and a mask requirement. While the superintendent and Department of Education stress the importance of physical distancing and face coverings in line with the California Department of Public Health, the board itself has a different opinion.

Their decision is only a county-wide recommendation. Each district's own school board and superintendent will ultimately decide on their own plans.

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City News Service contributed to this report.
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