Pico Rivera, which has high infection rate, opens free COVID-19 testing site for residents

The city of Pico Rivera, which has high infection rates for coronavirus, is opening a drive-thru center to provide free testing for all residents.
PICO RIVERA, Calif. (KABC) -- One of the communities in Southern California that's been hardest-hit by COVID-19 is Pico Rivera. Starting this week, there's a new location testing for the virus, and it's free.

Pico Rivera opened a new COVID-19 testing center at the city's sports arena, becoming the second city in Los Angeles County to provide testing free to all residents whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

"Above and beyond the efforts of the state, of Los Angeles County of providing free testing, we in the city of Pico Rivera feel it necessary to take a step forward and test everyone," said Pico Rivera Mayor Gustavo Camacho.

Camacho is leading the way in the effort in response to his city having one of the largest infection rates in the area. According to the most recent data from LA County, there are currently 270 cases in Pico Rivera, with an infection rate of 420 per 100,000 residents. That puts the city in the top 20% of the county.

A new partnership with U.S. Health Fairs allows them to get to a level of security before more people go back to work.

"U.S. Health Fairs is a nonprofit organization that shifted their mission of testing for cancer and DNA testing to testing for COVID," said Camacho.

Another motivation behind the testing is the data showing Latinos are one of the most vulnerable populations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about nine in 10 residents in Pico Rivera are Hispanic or Latino.

The test is FDA approved and self-administered with a nasal swab in the drive-thru at the sports arena. Results come back in about 48 hours.

"We also want to invite our neighboring cities to come because this virus has no borders and it's important for our neighboring cities to also make sure that all residents are tested in the region," said Camacho.

The city will offer the free test daily for the next six months. It's by appointment only through the website ushealthfairs.org/picorivera
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