COVID-19 testing

CVS Offers Free Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing for Kids 12+, Including in San Diego

Twenty-two of the CVS testing sites are in San Diego County; a parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration for any child receiving the COVID-19 test

NBC Universal, Inc.

Starting Friday, children age 12 and older can get a free, drive-thru COVID-19 test at 22 CVS Pharmacy locations across San Diego County.

CVS is offering the free COVID-19 testing for kids at more than 2,000 drive-thru locations across the country, including San Diego and Los Angeles, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Approximately 513,000 children have been diagnosed with coronavirus, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday, and the rate of new cases among kids continues to rise.

“With schools opening across the country, there's an urgent need to make testing for minors more readily available,” Troyen Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, said in a news release. “We've implemented a system that allows parents or guardians to register and accompany their children for a self-swab test close to home.”

CVS said a parent or legal guardian must complete the online testing registration for all minors. Kids between 12 and 15 years old who are looking to get tested must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Test results are generally available within 2-3 days, CVS said.

A few of the San Diego-area CVS locations offering this testing for kids include:

  • Alpine: 1385 Tavern Rd.
  • Chula Vista: 645 East Palomar St.
  • Imperial Beach: 800 Palm Ave.
  • Carlsbad: 7740 Rancho Santa Fe Rd.
  • El Cajon: 572 Fletcher Parkway
  • Escondido:1655 South Centre City Parkway
  • Oceanside: 1980 College Blvd.
  • San Marcos: 1302 West Mission Rd.
  • Vista: 635 South Melrose Dr.
  • San Diego: 3151 University Ave.
  • San Diego: 14589 Camino Del Norte

To search for a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test site near you, click here.

CVS Pharmacy also announced it is opening more than 120 new test sites Friday at drive-thru locations across the U.S.

NBC 7 spoke a local infectious disease pediatrician Friday about COVID-19 testing for children. Dr. Mark Sawyer, of UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, said that while the availability of more testing is a good thing, parents shouldn’t rush to get their children tested for COVID-19 just to get peace of mind – especially if they’re not showing any symptoms.

“I think parents have to be careful not to be overly reliant on the idea that testing is going to help a lot,” Sawyer explained. “What testing is really good for is telling us which children should not be in school because they're infected. They’re symptomatic, we test them, we find them positive, and we can isolate them.”

CVS Pharmacy has expanded its COVID-19 testing offerings to include free, drive-thru testing for kids age 12 and older. Here's how that works. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez reports.

County to Expand COVID-19 Testing in San Diego

San Diego County is aiming for more COVID-19 testing in hard-hit communities. On Sept. 14, the county will kick-off a 14-day rotating program of COVID-19 testing in those communities.

Starting on Sept. 14, free COVID-19 testing will be available at the downtown San Diego Consulate every Monday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Other locations that are part of this expanded testing program will be announced within a week, the county said.

San Diego County already runs dozens of free testing sites. You do need to make an appointment at most of them, but there are walk-in options at sites like the Tubman-Chavez Community Center, Cal State University San Marcos, and the San Ysidro Border Test Site.

You can learn more about those county COVID-19 testing sites here.

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