A drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 has opened in a parking lot on N. Santa Monica Boulevard, across from the Beverly Hilton. The site is privately run and offers free 24-hour tests and paid rapid tests.
Crews started working the night of Jan. 22 and held a soft opening at the site the next evening with priority testing for first responders. The company behind the site, 911 Covid Testing, administered about 12 tests during the opening event. By the following Tuesday, the staff at the site were giving more than 200 tests daily, according to 911 COVID Testing’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Farzam. He said the site can deliver more than 2,000 tests per day.
“We’re basically seeing double the increase day after day,” Farzam told the Courier. “We’ll be there as long as we need to, just to make sure there’s not a five-hour wait at the emergency room for folks that are getting tested and taking up resources that are really for people who have acute needs.”
The site opened amid a nation-wide test shortage as suppliers struggled to keep up with demand from holiday travelers and back-to-schoolers this winter.
“We don’t turn anyone away, and we have paid options too for folks who are wanting to travel or have specific requirements they need for a test result that typically free ones don’t give you,” Farzam said.
The site is easiest to reach by heading eastbound on Santa Monica Boulevard and entering through a fence on the south side of the road. It is clearly marked with signage. Inside, there are four lanes that stretch a quarter of a mile where cars can line up.
The Santa Monica Boulevard site is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 911 Covid Testing has similar sites in Santa Monica, in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center, and one near LAX. Tests offered include a free 24-hour PCR test, a $95 rapid antigen test and a 30-minute PCR test for $249.
The company plans to open a general testing lab with mobile services once the COVID-19 crisis subsides, Farzam said.