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.

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. 
Key Points
  • 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 get tested.

People Without Symptoms if they

  • were asked by the L.A. County Department of Public Health to get a test because of a contact tracing or outbreak investigation
  • were in "close contact" with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks
  • are working or living in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, correctional facilities or homeless shelters
  • are experiencing homelessness
  • 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.
  • don't have symptoms but believe you may be infected now because you were exposed to people who were sick, were around many people who were not wearing face coverings, and/or were not keeping safe distance in the past 2 weeks

 

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.