L.A. County gives COVID shots at home. Advocates fear ‘people just don’t know about this’
A mobile medical unit carrying patients with the coronavirus arrives in a garage in a southern California neighborhood, where officials say they have given the area a face mask-wearing exemption from coronavirus restrictions.
In L.A. County, officials are giving residents free medical exams, home screenings and swiping of their IDs at hospitals and other public health centers that are treating coronavirus cases.
They’ve also given them a way to get their temperatures taken.
“Just walk up to the front desk, and just ask for a temperature check, and we’ll take care of you,” said Dr. Richard Buerhaus, the county’s director of health services.
As coronavirus cases balloon amid warnings of a looming pandemic, county officials have been handing out free medical exams and screening for possible exposure to the virus.
But critics of the plan say it’s merely a way to make the county appear more “normal.”
“My concern… is [public health officials] are thinking it’s going to put us in the position of having a health care system that is more similar to the rest of the world, where the normal is whatever we want,” said Dr. Robert F. Siegel, who works as the medical director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health. “And it will become the norm where it is never the case.”
It’s a worry that comes up every day in L.A. County. Officials are scrambling to prevent a spread of the coronavirus and have been asking residents to wear masks when they leave their homes and practice basic social distancing.
“If we don’t start this process now, and start getting people taking this seriously, we’re going to end up with a lot of needless deaths, or we’re going to end up with a lot of medical visits where they will walk in with this virus and they will spread it back,” Dr. Siegel said.