San Diego County Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Sites Now by Appointment Only

Testing is free at San Diego County sites for anyone age 6 months and older, seven days a week

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Diego County’s drive-up COVID-19 testing sites will temporarily convert to appointment-only service due to long lines and safety concerns, public health officials confirmed.

Starting Monday, the county’s drive-up testing locations – which can be found here – will require an appointment.

The county said this will impact drive-up sites only, not the county’s walk-up testing locations. You don’t need an appointment at walk-up locations – which make up most of the county’s free testing sites.

San Diego County public health officials said the testing site at Aquatica San Diego in Chula Vista will switch from drive-up mode to walk-up on Dec. 10.

To find a free COVID-19 testing site in San Diego County, click here.

County-run COVID-19 testing sites do not require a referral from a doctor. San Diego County recommends residents first call their health care provider for a testing appointment. If you can’t get an appointment through your health care provider, you can schedule a test online at a county site, or call 211 for more information.

San Diego County said the highest priority for county sites is to test groups or people with symptoms of COVID-19, followed by asymptomatic people in high-risk groups or settings. The county’s website said this includes:

  • High-risk symptomatic individuals
  • People exposed to infected individuals in places where COVID-19 risk is high
  • Healthcare workers, first responders, other social service employees, and people in other essential jobs such as utility workers, grocery store workers, food supply workers, and other public-facing employees including childcare and school workers
  • People considered part of vulnerable populations
  • Older adults
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Caretakers of older adults or those with underlying medical conditions

Right now, San Diego County testing results take about three days to process. If your result is negative, the county contacts you via email. If it’s positive, the county contacts you by email and phone. While you’re waiting for your results, county health officials say these steps should be followed.

If you haven’t received your results within four days of being tested, you can call 211 or submit a COVID-19 testing inquiry via the county’s website, here.

The county testing site provide diagnostic testing, which reveals active COVID-19 infection, public health officials said. This test is done via a nasal swab sample.

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