Watch CBS News

Demand For COVID Testing Spikes Along With New Cases

BRENTWOOD (CBSLA) - In a three day span this week, Los Angeles County saw a 300% rise in new COVID cases, a trend that's created a massive demand for testing.

Testing 1
Dec. 25, 2021 (CBSLA)

A long lines of people waited for COVID-19 testing at Kaiser Permanente Anaheim on Christmas day got some bad news.

"They tell you that they're closed for the day, come back at six in the morning," Irvine resident John Delgado said.

The drive-thru clinic was scheduled to run until 1 p.m., but many patients along East La Palma Avenue were turned away before that, which upset them. They'd spent a long time waiting in their cars.

One woman who was being turned away said she'd been waiting in line for two hours, while another woman, Carmela Cicneros, an Anaheim resident, said she'd been waiting to get in before one o'clock because she has to get tested for an upcoming procedure.

"...that they're closing...because it closes at one, which we understand, but I have a procedure that needs to be done, COVID testing, before my procedure. And now they're telling us that they're not doing it no more," Cicneros said.

Tony Bauer had waited around two hours for the chance to pull into the parking lot for his test, but was told by a guard he'd have to come back later, which he said has put a damper on his Christmas.

"Like the Grinch just walked over and talked to me. It's going to be one of those days," Bauer said.

At the Kaiser facility in Downey, there was more demand for testing. The site was open for four and a half hours. A spokesperson acknowledged that people may have been turned away after waiting, but they needed to keep the employees in mind who were working on a holiday.

Meanwhile, in Santa Ana, a private organization operated a drive-thru clinic at Main Place Mall. Cars snaked through the parking lot and down Main Street. Some people said they came because they weren't feeling well. Others wanted to be sure they weren't going to spread anything, as they gathered with family and friends.

"Extremely lucky. We looked at areas, testing sites all around us. Every single one is booked until Monday, Tuesday. This is the only one that had a spot available today," said a woman waiting in her car for a test at the clinic.

Thousands of tests have been done on site this Christmas at a Sepulveda Pass location in LA County. It's right across the street from the Getty Center and business was brisk.

"This is, even though I'm Jewish, this is the very best Christmas present I could ever have in my life and I will always remember it," said Westwood resident Carole Cohen.

The operators of 911 COVID Testing said there's been a marked difference in test results compared to a few weeks ago.

Testing 3
A worker at 911 COVID Testing's drive-thru clinic in the Sepulveda Pass walks tests to the mobile facility. Dec. 25, 2021 (CBSLA)

"Unfortunately, we've also seen an increase with our positivity rate," 911 COVID Testing Chief Operating Officer Steve Farzam said. "We're at just over 12% positivity rate, which is really concerning, and what's even more concerning is nearly half of the people who are testing positive have no symptoms."

The chief operator added that three weeks ago, the positivity rate was under 2%.

The Sepulveda Pass testing site, across from the Getty Center, was testing people until 10 p.m. on Christmas.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.