LOS ANGELES—Shortly after the at-home COVID-19 testing program was launched again amid the recent COVID-19 surge, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services announced a temporary pause on the program beginning Jan. 5.
The Los Angeles County Home Test Collection program offers at-home COVID-19 nasal swab test kits to all county residents for free via mail.
Primarily due to “a current backlog in the logistics of processing these kits,” the program had to be suspended temporarily, according to authorities.
The health services department is expecting to resume the program by providing a new option that will allow county residents to pick up test kits themselves—instead of only receiving them by mail—and drop off samples at designated locations.
“[The new option] will allow us to increase capacity and further address the current demand,” the department’s communication office told The Epoch Times via email.
More details about the relaunch will be released next week.
Residents qualified for the program are those who have COVID-19 symptoms or potentially have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Before the program suspension, the supply of free testing kits was limited to 4,000 a day to ensure testing results could be ready within 48 hours of sample arrival at the lab.
The program was created as a temporary service in the winter of 2020 and was relaunched in late 2021 amid a new wave of COVID-19 cases.
On Jan. 6, 37,215 Los Angeles County residents were tested positive for COVID-19, and hospitalization had risen to 2,661, according to the county’s Public Health Department.
Many COVID-19 testing centers in the Los Angeles area have reported that testing appointments are fully booked until next week.