The actor's two kids, Dylan and Hopper, are also volunteering at the drive-thru testing locations

By Benjamin VanHoose
April 06, 2020 11:07 AM
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Sean Penn and Leila
Credit: BACKGRID

Sean Penn is lending a hand during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Sunday, the Oscar winner, 59, was spotted helping volunteers at a drive-thru testing site in Los Angeles. Penn’s nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) recently teamed up with the mayor’s office and the L.A. Fire Department to run the locations in order to free up healthcare workers needed on the frontlines.

Testing at the drive-thru stations is free for high-risk individuals, according to the CORE website.

“What is going to be most valuable in this pandemic of what we as citizen organizations can do,” Penn told ABC News, “is to get the professionals relieved of duties that are beneath their training sets … so they can get back on the street.”

The Milk actor was seen assisting over the weekend with girlfriend Leila George, who he’s been dating since 2016. Both wearing face masks during the outing, the couple frequently bonds over philanthropic efforts; last month they shared a night out at a fundraiser for wildlife relief in Australia following the devastating bushfires.

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George, 28, made a call for volunteers on Instagram, writing that the team needs “all the help we can get.”

“I’m working with @coreresponse setting up drive thru COVID testing sites around LA. We need all the help we can get. VERY safe environment. FULL protection provided.
JOIN ME! 😍,” she wrote.

Penn’s two children — daughter Dylan, 28, and son Hopper, 26, who he shares with ex Robin Wright — are additionally helping out in the effort organized by CORE, which also pitched in during other crises over the years, like in Haiti in 2010.

“Both of my kids are working in the hot zone line,” Penn told ABC News. “They are very service-oriented people themselves, and there was no keeping them off it.”

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According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been at least 15,076 confirmed cases of the virus and 349 deaths in California, as of April 6. Across the country, those tallies are 336, 776 and 9,600, respectively.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.