LOS ANGELES - From the air, Dodger Stadium could not have looked emptier. For weeks, thousands were coming here daily to get tested for COVID-19 to see if they were infected. But, on this day, - while there was no testing - people were still driving up the hill like ants at a picnic.
They didn't know of the cancellation. Some had appointments but for Tuesday but showed up Monday anyway.
Others didn't have appointments at all. They just came up hoping for a test. And, of those with whom we spoke, most felt they had been exposed to the virus and wanted to know if they had contracted it.
In a short statement, Andrea Garcia with the City of Los Angeles gave no explanation for the Dodger Stadium closure except to say that this Monday, “Three testing locations are open, with nearly 100 State, County and Private provider testing locations open across LA County. The Dodger Stadium location was not scheduled to be open.”
But why? People showing up at the stadium wanted to know.
The non-profit behind the testing is the one formed by actor Sean Penn. It's called CORE.
Ann Lee is the CEO of CORE. We caught up with her in Atlanta where CORE is also involved in testing. She explained that money was a big part of the stadium closure Monday.
She said, “The city stepped in to do their best to try to pay for this. That’s not possible. The Federal Government has money. It’s not getting to the city or to us. So, essentially we found a solution to be able to bill insurance but still make sure the average citizen insured or uninsured can get free testing.”
Lee says they've teamed up with the lab Curative. She says, they will deal with billing and testing moving the city out of the position of supplying the tests.
That way, she says, the arrangement will help keep the city from having to draw down on their own money.
She adds, they were also worried about post-July 4th spike we are now seeing. Lee continues, “Financing was definitely something that was making us quite nervous. We know that testing was not going to go down but we’ve been burning down on our private funding from one or two sources from the private sector.”
Tuesday testing will resume.
The hours are from 10 am to 5 pm.
You must have an appointment.
You can make one at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.