COVID Testing – What You Need to Know

Motorists drive into a COVID-19 mobile testing site at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Willowbrook. The testing is being conducted in partnership with the County Department of Health Services. (Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

If you think you need a test, the County encourages you to call your doctor first. Testing is best done by a healthcare provider, so that they can monitor your care. If you do not have a doctor or are unable to contact them, dial 2-1-1 for a referral to a provider. Other private COVID-19 testing may be available. Find a community testing site near you (e.g., Rite Aid, UCLA Health, UrgentMED, Exer Urgent Care, Quest) with the California for ALL Testing Tool.

Testing priority at County and LA City sites is given to those in the following groups:

People with the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
People working or living in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, and persons experiencing homelessness.
Individuals experiencing homelessness.
People who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Contrary to recent CDC guidance, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health is advising people to get tested if they have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Visit the COVID-19 testing website for more information and to sign up for a free test. Note: testing availability is subject to change and testing is by appointment only.

And whether or not you get tested for COVID-19, remember:

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you need to isolate. Keep your physician informed on your symptoms and, especially if you are elderly or have an underlying health condition, seek medical care if your symptoms worsen. If you don’t have a physician, call 211 to get connected to one. And if you are having trouble breathing or have other severe symptoms, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
If you were exposed to someone with a known infection, you need to quarantine for the full 14 days. A COVID-19 test should never be used as a way to end quarantine early. It will never do that.
The health officer orders are there to keep you and others safe, while still allowing society to reopen. A negative test cannot reassure you that you haven’t been exposed and won’t turn positive tomorrow. Don’t use a negative test as a “free pass” that allows others outside of your household to safely interact with you. It is not safe.
Click/tap here to learn more about COVID-19 testing in LA County.

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