Female doctor talks to female patient in hospital office while writing on the patients health record on the table. Healthcare and medical service.

Sean Penn’s CORE Response, the Los Angeles Fire Department and the city of Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office operated a free COVID-19 testing site at South Hill and West Fifth streets, Downtown.

At this COVID-19 testing site, Angelenos have been welcomed, regardless of insurance coverage.

CORE brought its trailer with necessary equipment, and employees set up a testing center with tables. Patients were placed at their own table, which were placed far apart. 

After the patients registered, CORE employees gave patients the COVID-19 test. For the test, patients must cough five times, then use a Q-tip to swab the inside of their mouth for 20 seconds. Patients were encouraged to swab the roof of their mouth, their tongue and their gums. Patients then put the Q-tips in a vial with liquid, put it in bags and dropped it in a bin. The LAFD took the test kits to the lab, which processes the testing kits around the clock. Results are provided within 48 hours.

CORE tests approximately 15,000 people per day, and more than 1 million people total in LA. 

CORE co-founder and CEO Ann Lee, with Penn, recognized CORE’s, LAFD’s and Garcetti’s efforts.

“Mayor Garcetti rose to an unprecedented challenge, with no federal strategy and limited support,” Lee said. 

“CORE is proud of its team of everyday citizens who have stepped up to do their part, alongside our city’s firefighters and other workers. Now in our fifth month of fighting this pandemic, we know that testing is one piece of saving the lives and livelihoods at stake right now. We must do more. 

“We must ask the public to continue doing its part to wear their masks, social distance and test, and if they test positive, quarantine and fully participate with contact tracers. We are committed to partners who can maximize the impact of our testing efforts by providing test results within 48 hours, contact tracing within 72 hours after a positive result and supporting those who cannot quarantine safely.”

LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas added, “The men and women of the LAFD continue to work collaboratively with Mayor Garcetti’s staff and the dedicated personnel from CORE to facilitate citywide COVID-19 testing for Angelenos. The battle against COVID-19 is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime, and I am proud that our organizations were able to quickly answer the mayor’s call to design, staff quickly and supply such a complex operation.”

CORE is committed to an integrated approach for the COVID-19 relief effort across the country. As COVID-19 cases continue to occur in LA, CORE has developed the CORE 8, which is inclusive of streamlined testing with results returned within 48 hours, comprehensive and timely contact tracing programs, supported quarantine and isolation services that provide shelter, food and wage replacement. 

These essential components, combined with the individual responsibility to wear a mask, social distance and isolate, are vital to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping LA safe. 

CORE is committed to supporting local governance with a community-centric approach and has applied this model to emergency relief efforts for COVID-19 in LA.

CORE is planning for more COVID-19 testing in LA.