A few days after Los Angeles put some of the strictest COVID measures in the country in place, the testing site at Dodger Stadium will reopen. The startup Curative will operate the site, once the nation's largest, as demand for testing grows.
The drive-thru testing site is located at the Downtown Gate E entrance and operates seven days a week, administering free, shallow nasal PCR tests that are more reliable than rapid tests. Curative said results arrive in a matter of one-to-two days and the company will bill insurance on the residents' behalf.
Public health officials have been bracing for an uptick on COVID-19 cases over the winter. As the weather gets colder and the holidays bring about more travel, there is a higher risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus.
California is already experiencing an influx of COVID-19 cases — as of Nov. 6, the state saw a 2.4% positivity rate, compared to a 2.1% positivity rate this time last month.
"We have seen this before. As we approach the holidays, there's historically been a spike in positivity," said Haley Albert, Curative's director of growth in California. "And though it's very different this year because most people are vaccinated, it doesn't mean that people can still get and spread COVID."
Curative was part of a partnership with Los Angeles when the city ran what was once the largest COVID-19 testing site in the country at Dodger Stadium, back when it, like many businesses, shut down during the pandemic. Curative offered to test saliva samples at the site, which later morphed into a vaccination center in January 2021.
Earlier this year, the startup, run by its founder Fred Turner, came under scrutiny after the Food and Drug Administration found its oral swab test sometimes produced inaccurate results.
The company switched to a nasal swab test in mid-June. The Dodger Stadium operations shut down entirely when baseball games resumed.
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