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Types of tests

Two types of COVID-19 tests are available: Viral PCR tests and antibody tests

California’s community-based testing sites use viral PCR tests, which detect current infection. Verily’s Project Baseline and OptumServe provide these tests.

 Antibody tests detect past infections. They can determine if you are a good candidate to donate blood plasma. It can take 1-3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies.

You can find locations for both viral and antibody tests on California’s testing map.

Cost for testing 

There are no out-of-pocket costs for medically-necessary testing. If you have medical insurance, Verily or OptumServe will bill your insurance company. If you’re uninsured, the government pays for your test.

Who can get tested

CDPH has prioritized testing, based on risk, as follows:

Tier one 

  • Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing

Tier two 

  • All other individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Close contacts of confirmed cases 
  • People having no COVID-19 symptoms in the following categories:
    • Residents in group living facilities
    • Healthcare workers who have frequent interaction with people with COVID-19
    • Workers in group living facilities and in-home support services
    • Workers in the emergency service sector who have frequent interactions with the public or people with COVID-19. This includes first responders and other public service departments.
    • Workers in correctional facilities
    • Hospital admission and discharge patients 

Tier three

  • People having no COVID-19 symptoms in the following categories:
    • Essential workers
    • Workers in the education sector who have frequent interactions with students or the public

Tier four 

  • People without symptoms but at risk of infection 
  • Routine testing by employers

How you can get tested

California has partnered with Verily and OptumServe to provide free, confidential testing statewide. The state’s testing program ensures that every county has enough testing capacity. Tests are available for underserved communities and individuals who are at high risk. 

Other testing sites may be available to you. Check with your healthcare provider or county website.

To find a Verily testing site near you and make an appointment:

Complete the screener

You will need a Google account.

Verily testing sites are now open in the following areas:

Testing questions and answers

OptumServe testing sites

Tests are by appointment only. Find a location near you and make an appointment at:

Register to be tested for COVID-19

If you do not have internet access, call 1-888-634-1123.

OptumServe community testing sites serve all individuals who qualify for a test. This includes uninsured, underinsured, undocumented and homeless individuals. You do not need a driver’s license to get this test. 

Treatment questions and answers

California’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force

The Testing Task Force works to ensure that Californians have access to tests, and laboratories have capacity to meet demand.

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