The City of Long Beach is offering free combination flu and COVID-19 tests at City-run testing locations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the community safe during flu season.
“As flu season arrives, we have the potential of facing two major health crises, where folks could contract both COVID-19 and the flu,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach’s dual testing model, one of the first of its kind in Southern California, puts our city at the forefront of public health policy and serves as a model for other agencies in our shared fight to slow the spread of this deadly disease.”
It is possible to be co-infected with both the flu and COVID-19, both of which could increase a person’s risk of serious health outcomes. Battling the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can be a hardship on one’s respiratory system and have lasting effects. Furthermore, the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, some of which are also shared by the common cold and seasonal allergies. Administering this dual test will help people, especially those with symptoms, seek the right care for their condition. The dual test is no different for the test-taker than the City’s current COVID-19 test; it simply tests for both COVID-19 and Influenza A/B using a single swab.
“In Long Beach, we are always looking for ways to meet people where they are,” said the Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy. “This new combination testing will help people experiencing flu-like symptoms to know if they have COVID-19 or the flu and which steps to take to recover and keep those around them safe. This is especially important as colder weather approaches and people spend more time indoors.”
Free combination tests at City-run sites are available by appointment only. Appointments may be made online or by calling the City’s COVID-19 Info Line at 562.570.INFO (4636). Free testing is offered to all residents of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, Paramount and Compton.
The City also serves communities that may have difficulty getting to a testing site, and residents who may not be able to leave their residence due to circumstances including mobility issues and certain underlying health conditions, via mobile testing. Mobile testing units are one-stop shops with all of the necessary equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and logistical items for testing stowed right on board. For more information about mobile testing, visit the City’s COVID-19 testing webpage or call 562.570.INFO, select option 1.
Everyone who has not yet received a flu vaccine is strongly urged to get vaccinated. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, in addition to preventing the possibility of a person simultaneously contracting COVID-19 and the flu, getting vaccinated can save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.
The City also offers free flu vaccinations at select COVID-19 testing sites. In addition to the free neighborhood flu vaccination clinics, individuals can contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist for a flu shot.
Residents may also schedule a flu shot appointment at the Health Department, for a small fee, by calling (562) 570-4315 during regular business hours. For more information about the 2020 flu season, the community is encouraged to visit longbeach.gov/flu.
The City remains committed to making testing available to all Long Beach residents. To date, Long Beach has conducted more than 288,000 COVID-19 tests through City-run sites, a State-run site and private labs.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.