The city's first free COVID-19 testing kiosk will open at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.

The new stand is part of a pilot program intended to reach those who can't get to drive-thru tests. Testing will take place on September 10-13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m and will continue throughout the month.

Curative Inc, which handles about 10% of the nation's tests, will process the self-administered mouth swab tests. No appointment is necessary, although it's encouraged. About 300 tests will be available daily, and additional capacity will be added. There is a 24-hour turnaround time for results. Those interested can sign up here.

A similar program rolled out in Curative Inc. in Berkeley in July.

It comes as officials have begun to see lower transmission rates, though some experts are concerned that the trend could easily be reversed.

There are plans to open up K-12 for special need students. And officials who urged the public to stay away from crowds during Labor Day weekend to avoid outbreaks such as those seen after Memorial Day are still waiting to see if the holiday will be followed by a similar spike in infections.

As of Wednesday, 6,090 people have died from the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County and 249,859 cases have been identified. About 10% of the nearly 2.4 million individuals tested have been positive.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles launched a series of pop-up mobile testing sites. Residents can find those locations and pre-register here.

Los Angeles is expected to roll out COVID-19 test kiosks later this month. A similar program in Berkeley may offer a hint of what it will look like.

Curative Inc. the company that administers COVID-19 tests, started a kiosk pilot program in Berkeley that opened last month.

Located in a park in Berkeley, the self-administered testing sites allow individuals to swab their own mouths and place samples in a supervised receptacle. The purple booth with the company's emblem reads "Welcome to your test spot." and "We're glad you are here."

Fred Turner, co-founder of Curative, tweeted out the photos of those kiosk less than a week before Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a similar program on Wednesday.

The kiosks in Los Angeles will process about 500 tests a day and are an alternative to the city's drive-thrus, which can be difficult for residents without cars to get to, Garcetti said.

"We think this will be a great way of getting tests to people that can't necessarily use one of the drive thrus and making testing more of a part of our daily lives as we continue to fight this pandemic," Turner said during a press conference with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The company is also rolling out a mobile unit that's being deployed to hot spots around Los Angeles. Garcetti said the city wants to be able to bring these to people in need.

"We are just getting to the point where it's getting a lot easier to get tested, but it's going to continue to be a pressing need to offer tests and for anybody who wants a test to be able to get tested," Turner said.

Curative has administered 1 million tests in Los Angeles and is averaging about 18,000 a day with an eye toward growing its capacity further.

Watch the full press announcement below:

COVID-19 Response Update from Mayor Garcetti, August 5, 2020



Join me live at a COVID-19 testing site for the latest on testing and more updates on our work to slow the spread of the virus.

Lots happened in the L.A. tech and startup community this week. dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key stories:

  • Sports: Women's Soccer Team Angel City Comes to L.A., Dodger Stadium Gets a Tech Makeover
  • Biotech: Curative Seeks to Expand Testing Beyond Drive-Thrus, Quantgene Aims to Cure Cancer with Data
  • Media: Snap Outperforms Investor Expectations, TikTok Makes Goodwill Gesture Towards Music Publishers and Creators
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