LAST UPDATED: July 10, 2020
Getting Tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area
From the Office of Senator Scott D. Wiener (D-San Francisco)
For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to visit:
- The San Francisco Department of Public Health
- The San Mateo County Department of Public Health
- The California Department of Public Health
- The SF Chronicle's list of testing sites
- The SF Chronicle's testing FAQ
- To find a nearby testing site, visit the state's testing site locator at www.covid19.ca.gov.
1) Who can be tested?
The answer is changing frequently. Theoretically, a doctor can order a test for any patient, but testing capacity could not support a massive influx of tests. Initially, the CDC would test only those who had recently traveled to China or who had been in close contact with someone already diagnosed with COVID-19. After the first community-acquired infection was confirmed, the CDC expanded testing. Now, health care providers are prioritizing testing for workers on the front lines. They are also prioritizing people who are very ill and already hospitalized or at the emergency room. However, now that testing capacity has significantly expanded in the state, most people are able to receive testing at some local facilities.
2) How long will test results take?
Testing results vary widely, depending on where you get tested and what lab the test is sent to. Rapid-results testing is being expanded but has limited availability. The vast majority of test sites send the samples to a lab off-site, like Quest or LabCorp, and results generally take two to 12 days because it takes time to ship the samples, and time for the labs to process the tests. You can expect test results in as little as 24 hours at facilities with their own labs or that use a nearby facility. Consult with your healthcare provider for more specifics.
3) How many people have been tested?
As of July 10, close to 5 milion tests have been conducted in the state. Daily coronavirus testing is averaging 80,000 - 100,000 tests per day.
Open Testing Sites
- CityTestSF, a collaboration between the city of San Francisco, local tech companies and medical providers has two sites. Both are by appointment only. To schedule appointments, see www.sf.gov/citytestsf.
- One site, at Piers 30-32, is a drive-through site run by Carbon Health and Color Genomics and serves essential workers with symptoms. A doctor’s note is not needed.
- A second, at 600 7th St., is a drive-through site operated by One Medical and Verily. It is open to any San Francisco resident experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Visit www.projectbaseline.com/COVID19 to learn more.
- SFGH has a drive-through and walk-up testing center in the hospital parking lot at 23rd Street and Potrero Avenue.
- A UCSF drive-thru testing site is set-up at Laurel Heights.
- Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is conducting rapid tests for anyone, even if you don’t have insurance, in the Castro. Hours are 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends. Schedule a virtual screening process at https://www.gohealthuc.com/bayarea/virtual-visits before coming in to be tested.
- Brown & Toland Physicians and Sutter are doing drive-through testing by appointment at the CPMC Pacific Heights campus. Testing is for Brown & Toland and Sutter health care workers and patients who are symptomatic.
- Kaiser members can get tested at an SF site (location not identified publicly because it is only for Kaiser members) after being referred by a physician. Results come back in 24 hours.
- NEMS is doing testing by appointment at 450 Noriega St. from 2 to 3 p.m. and 735 Vallejo St. from 3 to 4 p.m. The tests are for symptomatic NEMS patients and are appointment-only.
- Carbon Health urgent care centers are offering testing to anyone showing symptoms or at-risk for exposure, including essential workers. The test must be ordered by a Carbon Health provider.
- Forward, a network of primary care centers with a clinic in the Financial District, is offering testing for its members.
- Sutter and OneMedical are performing tests for their existing patients at sites throughout the Bay Area.
- A temporary Field Care Clinic opened in April in a tent adjacent to the Southeast Health Center in Bayview-Hunters Point. It provides primary care, urgent care and screening for COVID-19. The clinic has capacity to treat up to 100 patients daily, with a smaller tent serving as an alternative testing site for potential coronavirus patients.
- A free, pop-up testing location at the Cathedral of St. Mary at 1111 Gough St. opened at noon Friday, June 5 for anyone to get swabbed for COVID-19, including those who have gathered in mass demonstrations recently — even if they are showing no symptoms of infection. The city is directing anyone who wants a test at the mobile site to sign up at www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.
- CVS drive-through pharmacies are conducting coronavirus diagnostic tests in San Francisco. The site is located at 377 32nd avenue. Tests are self-swab and scheduling will be conducted online.
- Mobile coronavirus testing facilities have been operating at the Latino Task Force Resource Hub in San Francisco’s Mission District and at the Tenderloin Recreation Center at 570 Ellis Street.
San Mateo County/South Bay
- Verily/Alphabet is continuing mobile drive-thru testing in SMC and Santa Clara county. Go to projectbaseline.com to get an appointment to be tested.
- NEMS is providing drive-up testing at their Daly City and San Jose clinics. They are limited to NEMS patients, who are symptomatic, by appointment only. The Daly City clinic is at 211 Eastmoor Ave and is running from 3 to 4 PM on weekdays.
- Stanford Medicine has drive-through testing at Hoover Pavillion in Palo Alto from 9-6, seven days per week. Testing is only for patients who have been referred by a physician.
- Two new coronavirus testing sites opened in East Palo Alto and Daly City. They will operate on a rotating schedule. Research company Verily will operate test sites at the San Mateo County Event Center on Mondays and Tuesdays, at the old Serramonte High School campus in Daly City on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at the YMCA in East Palo Alto on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning May 18. Testing is free and available to anyone who has made an appointment in advance.