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Types of tests

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: Tests for current COVID-19 infection (also known as viral PCR tests) and tests for past infection (also known as antibody or serology tests). 

California’s community-based testing sites by Verily’s Project Baseline and OptumServe provide viral tests to determine if individuals have COVID-19.

Antibody tests detect past infections (but not current infections). They are used to detect past COVID-19 infections in an individual and can be used to 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 testing. If you have medical insurance, Verily or OptumServe will bill your insurance company. If you’re uninsured, your viral test is paid for by the government.

Who can get tested

Testing is prioritized for individuals who are at high risk, including hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers, people with symptoms, residents and employees in group living facilities and people who may have been exposed in high-risk situations. As testing capacity continues to increase statewide, local health officers can expand testing within their communities. See current public health testing guidance.

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, and that tests are available for underserved communities and individuals who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from the virus.

Find a Verily testing location near you and make an appointment:

Complete the screener

You will need a Google account.

Drive-through testing sites are now open in the following areas:

Frequently asked questions (Verily’s Project Baseline)

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, including uninsured, underinsured, undocumented and homeless individuals. OptumServe will generate a unique identification number for individuals who do not have a driver’s license. 

Treatment questions and answers

California’s Testing Task Force

California’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force works to ensure that Californians who need a COVID-19 test have access to tests and that there’s enough laboratory capacity to meet demand. 

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