UPDATED: The Union Station COVID-19 testing site will remain open after all, despite being used for a film shoot for “He’s All That,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has confirmed.
“Working with @LAFD, @Curative & @MetroLosAngeles, my team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday,” the Mayor tweeted. “The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily.”
Working with @LAFD, @Curative & @MetroLosAngeles, my team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday. The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 1, 2020
The Mayor’s Office Press Secretary Andrea Garcia also issued a statement, which follows: “Yesterday afternoon, the property management company for Union Station notified the Mayor’s office that the COVID-19 testing kiosk there would need to close due to a film shoot. As soon as this was brought to our attention, we began efforts to reopen it, and contacted the 504 people scheduled for a test at that location on December 1 to let them know that their appointment would be honored at any of the other 14 city testing locations. Working with LAFD, Curative and Metro, we announced the kiosk’s reopening overnight and the site opened at 8 AM today, its regular time. All of the people with appointments have been notified by email of this update as of this morning.”
Los Angeles’ Union Station, a frequented COVID-19 testing site, was previously scheduled to be temporarily closed on Dec. 1 for the filming purposes of “He’s All That,” Variety and FilmLA, a non-profit organization for the Los Angeles film community, had confirmed.
On Monday night, homeless outreach and advocacy organization Ktown for All tweeted a screenshot of an email from Curative — the company that runs the testing site — canceling an appointment for testing due to “an event.”
“We apologize for the inconvenience and delayed notification but L.A. Union Station Kiosk site has had to cancel all appointments for Dec. 1 due to an event being held at this location,” the e-mail reads, noting that patients can use their appointment confirmations for any date and time in the future.
In the middle of a horrible and terrifying COVID spike, LA just cancelled all of its Dec 1 appointments at Union Station (one of the only transit-accessible facilities) with less than 24hrs notice because of A FILM SHOOT!! @MayorOfLA @metrolosangeles @lapublichealth WTF???!!??? pic.twitter.com/zwR36TH4G4
— Ktown for All 💜❤ (@KtownforAll) December 1, 2020
A representative for Ktown for All told Variety that they were first alerted of the situation by one of their volunteers, who was scheduled to get tested tomorrow.
“While we are taken aback that one of the few centrally-located and transit-accessible testing facilities in the entire city would be shut down with less than 24 hours notice, in the midst of a deadly pandemic surge, I cannot say we are too surprised,” the Ktown for All representative said.
Representatives for Curative and Union Station did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment. In a statement, FilmLA said Curative initially canceled and sought to reschedule people’s appointments, but not at the request of anyone involved with the film. FilmLA confirmed that the film was granted a permit by the city to use the location, adding that the shoot involves exterior establishing shots and interior dialogue as well as a cast and crew of around 170 people.
“We were disappointed by what we learned, and immediately helped escalate the situation to City attention,” FilmLA said in a statement.
“He’s All That” is a gender-swapped remake of 1999’s “She’s All That,” and stars TikToker Addison Rae as the popular girl in school who seeks to makeover her socially awkward classmate, played by Tanner Buchanan. It is being directed by Mark Waters and produced by Miramax.
Miramax declined Variety‘s request for comment. However, a source close to the film tells Variety that the production company had no knowledge that Union Station was a testing site and was not involved in the decision to film there.
L.A. County reported 5,150 new COVID-19 cases on Monday after establishing its second stay-at-home order, which was announced on Friday. Officials have warned that should the number of cases continue to rise, a stricter order will be put into place.