Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, county health officials and private labs are ramping up COVID-19 testing capacity as people anxious to visit family flock to centers and cases rise.

Los Angeles County has recently added some 6,000 appointments to testing locations across the region and expanded testing hours. This week, LAX started offering COVID tests to fliers for $150, just ahead of what is normally one of the busiest travel seasons.

It comes as coronavirus cases have surged back to alarming levels and demand for testing rises. Wait times at county testing stations are now running 10 to 20 minutes, and they could grow in the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving as more seek testing.

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The University of California, Los Angeles received U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval Wednesday for a new novel coronavirus testing method that is faster and cheaper than most on the market, allowing for thousands of tests to be processed and their results returned in a day.

The test analyzes the genomic sequencing of samples to identify infected people — including those who are asymptomatic — by having them spit into a tube that then goes directly into a machine.

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