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AT&T Provides AltaMed with Free Wi-Fi for New COVID-19 Testing Site

By Ken Briodagh

As community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spike, AltaMed Health Services turned a parking lot in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles into a medical evaluation and COVID-19 testing center.

According to releases, AT&T donated a retail pop-up truck to deliver the needed internet service across the FirstNet network to operate the site. Trucks like this one are typically used as pop-up AT&T retail stores at large events. AltaMed can see up to 150 patients a day in this underserved community where health care facilities and COVID-19 testing is limited. Providers on site can perform medical evaluations, prescribe medications and administer COVID-19 tests.

“AltaMed has never turned anyone away, regardless of their ability to pay, but now the increased demand for services has put a strain on resources,” said Ilan Shapiro, M.D., medical director of health education and wellness, AltaMed Health Services. “Without AT&T providing WiFi for this site, we would not have been able to increase testing access for this community.”  

To set up an appointment for testing through AltaMed or the LA County Dept. of Public Health, visit: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing or call (888) 499-9303.

AltaMed has established a total of nine outdoor COVID-19 testing and medical evaluation sites in Los Angeles and Orange counties. COVID-19 testing will be done for those who meet public health criteria for testing and have an order from their physician or an appointment through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Each outdoor testing site costs$125,000 a week to operate.

AT&T reportedly is helping others use parking lots in unique ways during this crisis. In San Antonio, where AT&T, Aruba and Spurs Give – the official nonprofit of Spurs Sports & Entertainment— teamed up to turn the AT&T Center parking lot into a connectivity hub. And in Dallas, public safety agencies from multiple jurisdictions decided to turn a major sports venue parking lot into a pop-up testing center, and AT&T supplied FirstNet Ready devices to use on the secure FirstNet network.


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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