May 1, 2020

Around the nation: Los Angeles to offer no-cost coronavirus testing to all residents

Daily Briefing

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said tests for the new coronavirus will be available to all Los Angeles residents regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and New York.

    • California: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday announced the city will offer no-cost testing for the new coronavirus to all residents. Garcetti said the diagnostic tests will be available at more than 30 health centers in the city for all residents, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. However, Garcetti said officials will prioritize testing individuals who are showing symptoms of Covid-19. The tests initially will be available only to city residents, but Garcetti said officials are planning a similar effort that will include all of Los Angeles County (Budryk, The Hill, 4/29).
    • District of Columbia: Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would federalize the United States' medical supply chain in order to boost production of medical supplies needed to fight the new coronavirus. The bill would appoint an executive officer to oversee production of the products, which would include testing supplies and protective equipment for health workers. The legislation would allow the officer to use federal powers under the Defense Production Act to issue purchase orders for needed supplies and oversee their distribution (Sullivan, The Hill, 4/29).
    • New York: As New York morgues have struggled with capacity issues due to the state's rising Covid-19 death toll, police on Wednesday discovered dozens of bodies stored inside two unrefrigerated U-Haul trucks parked outside of Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services in Brooklyn. Investigators said they discovered the bodies after a passerby called 911 complaining about a smell. New York City officials have deployed refrigerated trucks to serve as "mobile morgues" amid the city's rising death count, the Washington Post reports. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the matter reflected the devastation caused by Covid-19. New York police spokesperson Lt. John Grimpel told the Post that the New York City Policy Department is not currently investigating any crimes related to the matter. Separately, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said officials are investigating the incident to determine if the funeral home mishandled human remains and issued two summons' related to the matter (Shepherd, Washington Post, 4/30; Sisak/Hajela, Associated Press, 4/30; Feuer et al., New York Times, 4/29).
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