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.
How to Get Tested
- Contact your regular doctor first to ask for a COVID-19 test. If you do not have a regular health care provider, call 2-1-1 or visit the 211LA website.
- If you cannot get a test through a regular health care provider, free testing by the County is available by appointment. Same day appointments and walk-ins may be available at some testing locations. Please use the County's COVID-19 Testing website to find a convenient testing location and sign-up for a test. Having an appointment helps reduce wait times and helps ensure the County has enough staff and testing supplies available.
- If you cannot get a test through a regular health care provider, home COVID-19 test kits are being offered by the County through LA County Holiday Home Test Collection. The kits will be free of cost to you if you sign-up between December 1 and January 15, 2021. Please visit the LA County Holiday Home Test Collection web page for more information.
- 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.
At this time, LAC DPH highly recommends testing for both of these groups:
If you want to learn more about testing, visit:
- County of Los Angeles COVID-19 website — for testing appointments and answers to common questions
- LAC DPH COVID-19 Testing — for the basics on testing and details on types of tests
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.