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High Demand Temporarily Pauses LA County's Effort To Send Free COVID Tests By Mail

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — LA County's program to send free COVID-19 test kits to any county resident by mail has been temporarily paused due to high demand.

Last week, Los Angeles County announced a program to send free at-home test kits by mail to any resident who requested one. However, the program's site says it has been temporarily paused, and that a "relaunch of the self-testing option to better meet the heightened demand for At-Home Test collection will be available next week."

Demand for COVID tests have skyrocketed as people try to get back to work and school after attending holiday gatherings or traveling. At-home test kits are sold out or hard to find in retail stores, and county officials are again scrambling to set up more testing sites – which had started to dwindle as more people got vaccinated.

In Los Angeles County, Supervisor Hilda Solis said that new pop-up testing sites would be operating all month at four sites – Centro Estrella in East Los Angeles, 4701 Ea. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., will operate every Thursday.; while Morgan Park, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd. in Baldwin Park, will operate on Fridays. Both sites will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The testing site at the Community Center, at 501 Glendora Ave. in La Puente, will be open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. before relocating to the Industry Expo Center next week with regular hours, while the site at the Civic Center, 1530 Central Ave. in South El Monte, will operate Monday through Friday starting today from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended at the La Puente but at the South El Monte sites, appointments are required.

In Long Beach, city vaccine and testing sites are expanding their hours, while postponing events like the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration and the 2022 Homeless Point in Time count. New dates for both events have not been announced.

Ventura County is also expanding the number of its COVID testing sites to Fillmore Middle School, the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, the Conejo Valley Unified School District Office Grounds, and the Ventura Unified School District Education Service Center; and the hours of existing test sites. Most of the sites begin operating next week, but the site at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center opens Friday at 8 a.m.

Orange County is also offering to send self-test kits to anyone who lives or works in the region.

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