COVID-19 Testing in Orange County

If you think you may have COVID-19, the most important thing to do is to isolate yourself from others and contact your health care provider about testing and care. If testing is recommended, there are many free resources available, and your health care provider should direct you to a location served by your health plan. If you do not have insurance, there are many locations that provide free testing. Visit the Orange County Health Care Agency for more information on COVID-19 testing.

Types of COVID-19 Tests
There are two kinds of COVID-19 tests:

  • PCR/viral test: This viral test can tell you if you are currently infected with COVID-19. It is taken with a swab in the mouth, nose or throat.
  • A serology/antibody test does not tell you if you are infected currently. It only tells you if you had a previous COVID-19 infection. This type of test is currently not recommended for individual use.

Who Should Get Tested?
People with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. The following symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure:

  • Primary symptoms may include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Other symptoms may include fatigue (feeling tired), muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

People without symptoms (asymptomatic) but who work in essential jobs that interact with the public and others who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested. 

COVID-19 Testing Locations in Orange County
Ask your health care provider about testing. There are more than 50 testing locations in Orange County offering free testing to most or all eligible people, and many more through individual health care providers.

The following types of testing sites are available:

  • OC COVID-19 Testing Network for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or someone in your household has COVID-19, and you cannot get a test though your health care provider, you can get a free medical assessment and a test through the OC COVID-19 Testing Network. 
  • State of California OptumServe Testing Sites. These sites provide free testing with a brief medical screening to people who cannot get a test through their health care provider. These sites, which only offer testing and do not have a medical provider on site, are recommended for people without symptoms and those who have had close contact to someone with COVID-19. Make an appointment for testing by visiting the website or calling 888-634-1123. 
  • Drive Thru Testing Clinics, Urgent Cares, and Labs. Many locations are now available for testing. They will accept your health insurance with no copay, and some—CVS, for example—will provide free testing for people without insurance. Contact them first to check any costs and to make an appointment.

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