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How to Get a Test

WARNING! Counterfeit Flowflex and iHealth COVID-19 home test kits are circulating in the US. Learn more.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Test
Test at a location
Free testing is available for uninsured individuals, regardless of immigration status.
  • From your employer or school
    If your employer or school requires a test, get one through your employer or educational facility.
Los Angeles County
  • A County-sponsored community location
    If you don’t have health insurance, you can get a free COVID-19 test at a community location regardless of your immigration status. If you have health insurance, please contact your doctor or health plan to get tested. Insured individuals can also go to a community location but need to provide health insurance information.
    Many sites test children of any age. Check with the testing site to find out if they offer PCR and/or antigen tests.
    Visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing or text 1-844-833-1334 to find a location near you. If you don’t have access to the internet, email, or need help arranging a test, call 2-1-1.
non-county testing site
  • Other testing site
    Some sites are run by private companies, private healthcare systems, or local cities and are not vetted by LA County.
    • They may charge for a test. Ask in advance if there are any charges or fees.
    • They also may ask for information such as a government ID or insurance.
    • If you are looking for a test for your child, ask about age limitations.
Test at home
  • Home collection kits (PCR tests)- you collect the sample, and it is tested in a laboratory.
    PCR test kits are available for people ages 4+ who live in LA County and have symptoms or think they were exposed to COVID-19. Results are usually available 24-48 hours after the lab receives the test. The kits, testing, and mailing are all free through a County program:
    • Order a kit online and have it mailed to you. You do the test and return it by mail to the lab.
    • Order a kit online and pick it up at a participating library. You do the test and drop it off at the library. Click here for more information or call 626-350-0537 or 626-434-3596.
    • Pick-up a test kit from a location in the community, including select clinics and recreation centers. Collect the sample at home or in your car and return it to the same site.
    For details, visit covid.19.lacounty.gov/testing.
Home sick
  • Self-tests (antigen tests/rapid tests) - you collect the sample and do the test yourself. Results usually take 15-30 minutes.
    • Buy them from a pharmacy, online, or a store such as a supermarket or big box store (these may be covered in you have insurance – see free tests).
    • Pick up a kit from a Public Health vaccination site English | Spanish
Free Tests
  • Testing at LA County testing sites is free for all LA County residents. This includes undocumented residents and those with and without health insurance. If you have health insurance, please be prepared to show your health insurance card or number at the testing location. Visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
  • COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. Visit Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19.
    • Participating testing providers may ask for your insurance information or ask you to enroll in a government program so that they can get reimbursed for the cost of the test. Some sites may charge a sliding scale fee if you are unable or unwilling to provide insurance information.
      The County does not endorse or regulate all COVID-19 testing sites. Please make sure to read and ask about any costs for a COVID-19 test.
  • If you have insurance: Health insurers are required (by federal law) to cover the entire cost of testing whether you have symptoms or not if a doctor orders the test. (Note: insurance companies may not cover COVID-19 testing if done as part of an employee return-to-work program.)

Self-tests are available at no cost - learn several ways to get them on the self-test page.


Beware of COVID-19 testing scams and fraud

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that unauthorized and counterfeit COVID-19 self-tests are being used and distributed in the US. For more information, visit the self-test page and see tips on how to avoid buying fake test kits online.

There are also fake COVID-19 testing locations - see tips to avoid getting tricked into using a scam testing location.

If you think you found a fake COVID-19 pop-up site or bought a fake COVID-19 test, please report it to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at bit.ly/DCBAHelp or 1-800-593-8222.

Visit the COVID-19 scams and fraud webpage to find out more about common COVID-19 scams and fraud.


What to Know Before a Test
what to know
  • Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.
  • If you have to be tested for screening purposes such as for work or travel, make sure that you get a test that meets the requirements of your employer, airline, or other institution.
  • Before you get a test make sure that you know:
    • What type of test you are being offered (NAAT or antigen).
    • How long it will take to get your results.
    • How you will find out the results.
    • What precautions you should take while you wait for your results and what you should do if your result is positive or is negative.
  • After you receive your test result, make sure that you understand what your result means and what to do next. You should be given a fact sheet about the test you received. If you did not, ask for one.
  • To learn more about COVID testing, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests.


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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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