COVID-19 Testing

 

SHOULD YOU GET TESTED?

 

If you are interested in being tested, please contact your primary care provider first.

It’s always best to work with your regular doctor to determine the kind of care you need — just as you would with any other health care concern. Unless you have specific symptoms, exposures or risk factors, you may not need to be tested. Your primary care provider can talk with you and help decide if you need to be tested.

 

Keeping up to date on testing for COVID-19 can be challenging. We're sharing the latest recommendations from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH). You can also visit the County's COVID-19 Testing website to view frequently asked questions and other information.

 

Key Points

 

  • Free testing by the County is by appointment only. Same day appointments may be available, but please sign-up first using the information at the County's COVID-19 Testing website. Appointments may be limited at testing sites due to increased demand. Contact your regular doctor first to ask about testing before trying to schedule a test with the County.
  • If testing shows you do not have COVID-19, this isn't a reason to stop protecting yourself and others. A COVID-19 test does not guarantee that you do not have the virus; a false-negative test is possible. Also, even when accurate, a test result only shows whether you had the virus at the moment you took the test. You could become positive at any time, and exposure to COVID-19 could happen immediately following your test.
  • Regardless of test results, you will still need to follow LAC DPH quarantine and isolation orders if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if you start having symptoms.

 

Testing Recommendations

 

At this time, LAC DPH highly recommends testing for both of these groups:

TESTING IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR:

People With Symptoms

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your regular health care provider and discuss if you should be tested.

People Without Symptoms if they

  • are working or living in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities
  • are experiencing homelessness
  • were in close contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days
  • are essential workers with frequent contacts with the public in these sectors: health care, emergency services, food and grocery, retail or manufacturing, public transportation and education. View a complete list of the essential worker's group from the California Department of Public Health.
  • believe they may be infected. An example would be if you were around many people who were not wearing face coverings indoors, and/or they were not keeping a safe distance. If this happened during the last two weeks and you are concerned, please contact your regular doctor.

 

If you want to get a COVID-19 test, but do not meet the criteria of the two groups above, please contact your regular doctor.

If you want to learn more about testing, visit:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I have to pay for testing?

 

L.A. Care has waived all costs associated with screening, testing and medically-necessary treatment for COVID-19. If you are asked to pay for screening, testing or medically-necessary treatment related to COVID-19, please call the L.A. Care Member Services phone number on the back of your Member ID card.

 

I heard about the COVID-19 antibody or serology test to see if I am immune to COVID-19. Where can I get this test?

 

The antibody test, also called a serology test, is mainly used for research purposes. It's too early in the research studies to say that testing positive for antibodies means you are immune to COVID-19. 

Because we don't know if you can become re-infected, people who test positive for antibodies must still protect themselves and others from COVID-19. You will still have to wear a mask and follow the public health officer orders. It also won't tell you if you currently have COVID-19. Scientists hope to know more as research continues. 

For more details, view the County's Antibody/Serology FAQs.