LAX now offering rapid coronavirus testing
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To accommodate an increase in travel, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has begun offering rapid coronavirus testing near Terminal 6. Located inside a shipping container, the testing site provides PCR test results within 3-5 hours. According to Justin Erbacci, chief executive of Los Angeles World Airports, the testing center aims to provide a safer experience for those who are traveling right now, either for essential or leisure purposes.
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As one of the busiest airports in the world, LAX saw over 26,000 million travelers between January and November 2020 alone. While that is about a third of the numbers seen in 2019, it represents a substantial number of people who are traveling during a pandemic and need to do so safely. Officials anticipate processing 1,000 tests per day, a significant bump from the current 250-300.
Passengers transiting through Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley have access to a separate testing center that provides results within 24 hours. That center has processed 14,000 tests since opening in November.
LAX travelers seeking a PCR test are highly advised to book an appointment, though walk-in appointments are available. The lab expects a rise in demand as more people resume traveling. California has been under a stay-at-home order for most of December, contributing to a 40% drop in airport traffic during the holidays, which is much lower than officials had anticipated. With vaccine distribution set to increase in the next few months, this number is expected to rise along with a demand for PCR testing.
LAX is just one of 26 U.S. airports offering PCR testing. At $125, it’s also one of the cheapest. In comparison, same-day PCR tests at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) cost $250.
Travelers who are testing as part of entry requirements for destinations like Hawaii, Alaska and French Polynesia will want to head to the Terminal 6 testing site for a quicker turnaround. The center is open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Meanwhile, the Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley locations operate until 7 p.m.
Featured photo by kevinjeon00 / Getty Images
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