Cal State LA partners with Los Angeles County, Governor’s Office to open new COVID-19 testing site

May 8, 2020

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo announce new site


By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service

Update: As of July 2020, the testing site has relocated to the Luckman Gallery on campus.

Cal State LA is partnering with Los Angeles County and the Governor’s Office to open a new COVID-19 testing site to serve the local community and help stop the spread of the virus.

The new site at the Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center expands the free testing services available to Los Angeles County residents in an effort to provide safe and accurate testing for COVID-19.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Los Angeles County and the Governor’s Office on this important initiative,” said Cal State LA President William A. Covino. “This testing site allows Cal State LA to use its resources during this pandemic to help protect the health and safety of the public.”

The initiative was championed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who announced the new testing site Friday during a news conference at the center, located at the southern gateway of the university. Solis thanked Cal State LA for taking part in the collaboration.

“This partnership is a testament to the role colleges and universities have in our society and their commitment to helping us get around COVID-19,” said Solis, whose First Supervisorial District includes the university. “Many of our hardest-working families are either uninsured or underinsured and don’t normally seek access to health care, which is why increasing access to COVID-19 testing sites remains one of my top priorities.”

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, a Cal State LA alumna, also participated in the news conference. “Today’s announcement is yet another victory in the fight against COVID-19,” said Carrillo, who noted both her parents are essential workers. “One test can save a life, save a family, and it can save a generation.”

Testing will be available at the Cal State LA site from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, by appointment only. People can schedule appointments through the Los Angeles County COVID-19 testing website. Those who do not have access to the Internet may call 2-1-1 and speak with an operator about testing. 

Unlike at drive-up sites, visitors to the Cal State LA testing site will walk inside the building to receive the test. Parking is now permitted on the west side of Paseo Rancho Castilla for testing site visitors only.

Free testing is available to eligible Los Angeles County residents. Priority for same- or next-day testing is given to people with COVID-19 symptoms and certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public while working.

The new testing site is a joint effort of Cal State LA, Supervisor Solis, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services.

“As the nation and the world work to contain this pandemic, Cal State LA will continue to do its part to serve the public good and to meet the needs of our community,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President and Provost Jose A. Gomez, who welcomed guests to the news conference. “Everyone in our community—from families, to first responders, to front-line medical workers—will be able to be tested quickly and accurately.”

The Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center will soon house the Cal State LA BioSpace Incubator, a key component of the university’s initiative to promote venture creation and inclusive entrepreneurship for the bioscience industry in the heart of Los Angeles.

Alan Horsager, director for Cal State LA BioSpace, noted at the news conference that COVID-19 cases have climbed to nearly 4 million worldwide. Experts estimate 80% of cases may be asymptomatic and therefore likely left undiagnosed.

“It’s this problem that requires us to massively scale our testing capability so that we can begin to manage the spread while, at the same time, start bringing people back to work,” Horsager said.

Photo: Supervisor Hilda L. Solis announces the opening of the new COVID-19 testing site at Cal State LA. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit