Long Beach offers free combination flu, COVID-19 tests amid coronavirus surge

Free combination flu and COVID-19 testing is being offered at city-run testing locations in Long Beach, the mayor announced.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Free combination flu and COVID-19 testing -- in which a single swab is used -- is being offered at city-run testing locations in Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia announced.

"As flu season arrives, we have the potential of facing two major health crises, where folks could contract both COVID-19 and the flu,'' Mayor Robert Garcia said.

The announcement comes as California hit the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases on Thursday.

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California hit the unfortunate milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases on Thursday afternoon amid talk of a possible new nationwide lockdown that could last six weeks.

"Long Beach's dual testing model -- one of the first of its kind in Southern California -- puts our city at the forefront of public health policy and serves as a model for other agencies in our shared fight to slow the spread of this deadly disease.''

The single swab tests for both the flu and COVID-19, and will enable people to seek the right care, city officials said.

"This new combination testing will help people experiencing flu-like symptoms to know if they have COVID-19 or the flu and which steps to take to recover and keep those around them safe,'' said Kelly Colopy, the director of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.

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Health officials in L.A. County warn that if COVID-19 trends persist upward, the county may be forced to impose more restrictions on public activity.

"This is especially important as colder weather approaches and people spend more time indoors," Colopy added.

Free testing is offered to residents of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, Paramount and Compton, with the combination tests available by appointment only at city-run sites.

Appointments may be made online at longbeach.gov/health/diseases-and-condition/information-on/coronavirus/covid-19-testing or by calling the city's COVID-19 info line at 562-570-INFO (4636).

The city is also offering free flu shots at select COVID-19 testing sites.

Long Beach has conducted more than 288,000 COVID-19 tests through city-run sites, a state-run site and private laboratories, according to the city.

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Amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases locally and across California, Angelenos have flocked to free testing sites in the city, including at Dodger Stadium.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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