Find a testing location

Types of tests

Two types of COVID-19 tests are available: Diagnostic tests and antibody tests (or serology tests). See this FDA video for a quick introduction.

A diagnostic test can show if you have an active coronavirus infection. Currently there are two types of diagnostic tests: viral PCR tests (or molecular tests) that detect the virus’s genetic material, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.

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

Antigen tests usually provide results faster than viral PCR tests at lower cost, but have a higher chance of missing an active infection.  Antigen tests are used on people suspected of having COVID-19 within 5-12 days of symptoms appearing. The FDA has approved antigen tests for use on symptomatic individuals only.

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
  • Those identified through an outbreak or contact tracing  investigation

Tier two 

  • All other individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Close contacts of confirmed cases 
  • People without symptoms, but who are:
    • Residents in group living facilities
    • Healthcare workers who care for COVID-19 patients
    • 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 without symptoms, but who are:
    • Essential workers
    • Education workers who have frequent interactions with students or the public

Tier four 

  • People without symptoms, but who are:
    • At risk of infection 
    • Being tested by their employer

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. Contact your healthcare provider, county public health department, or local clinic to find out your options for diagnosis and testing.

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:

Drive-through 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. 

Testing questions and answers

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.

Stay informed