Dodger Stadium coronavirus testing site temporarily closes for restructuring amid increased demand, traffic concerns

Coronavirus testing was temporarily halted at Dodger Stadium over the weekend so that the site can be restructured amid the increased demand for testing and the traffic concerns from neighbors, officials said.

More than 1 million coronavirus tests had been administered since May at Dodger Stadium, the largest testing location in Los Angeles County, Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a briefing this week.

Videos have shown long lines wrapping around Dodger Stadium in recent weeks as coronavirus infection numbers began a rapid, unprecedented surge that is now straining hospitals.

This drone image shows vehicles line up at a coronavirus testing site at Dodger Stadium ahead of the New Year’s holiday on Dec. 30, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)A woman pushes a stroller past vehicles lined up to enter a COVID-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium on Dec. 7, 2020 in Los Angeles.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Motorists wait in long lines to take a coronavirus test in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium on Nov 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)In an aerial view from a drone, cars are seen lined up at Dodger Stadium for coronavirus testing as dusk falls over downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)In an aerial view from a drone, vehicles line up to enter a testing site at Dodger Stadium on Dec. 7, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)People cross the street past vehicles lined up to enter a COVID-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium on Dec. 7, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The massive testing site was closed on Saturday to “address concerns expressed by neighborhood residents,” the mayor’s office said in a news release. Testing operations at the stadium will be rerouted to alleviate traffic.

The site is set to reopen on Monday.

“I want to thank the Dodgers for providing more space to help us meet the current surge in testing and helping us provide 1 million tests and the number one testing site in America,” Garcetti said.

Within Los Angeles, there are 10 city-operated coronavirus testing sites and six mobile locations that can test up to 46,000 people each day, according to the mayor’s office.  This includes three sites that now offer COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers.

In November, the city increased capacity and extended hours at its testing sites in a bid to help contain the surge.

The massive drive-thru site at Dodger Stadium runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Countywide, more than 806,200 have tested positive for the coronavirus and 10,682 have died of COVID-19

On Saturday alone, the county reported 15,701 new infections and another 138 deaths.

“The Dodgers are committed to doing our part in the battle against COVID-19 by ensuring that testing continues to be available to all Angelenos, especially with the ongoing surge in cases and increase in demand for testing in Los Angeles,” L.A. Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “Surpassing one million tests at Dodger Stadium is a sobering reminder of just how many families have been affected by this terrible pandemic.”

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