LAST UPDATED: May 26, 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 May 21, more than 1.4 milion tests have been conducted in the state. Daily coronavirus testing is averaging 40,000 - 50,000 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.
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.
Other Bay Area
- The city of Hayward is testing at CSU East Bay.
- The City of Berkeley has opened a COVID-19 testing site for vulnerable residents, including those without access to healthcare and frontline workers, in partnership with LifeLong Medical and UC Berkeley.
- Oakland’s COVID-19 testing site is offering testing to residents who have respiratory symptoms and work in direct care professions.
- John Muir Health is doing testing at urgent care centers in Berkeley, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek. Patients must have an order from a John Muir Health-affiliated doctor to get a test.
- Fremont opened a testing site where people who are sick— regardless of immigration status or city of residence — can be screened and tested for free without a doctor’s referral. The site is located at the Fremont Fire Tactical Training Center on Stevenson Blvd and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Contra Costa County residents with coronavirus symptoms can make an appointment to be tested for free at one of four drive-through sites opened Wednesday. People who wish to be tested must call 1-844-421-0804 for a medical screening.
- Mayor Libby Schaaf announced that officials will open a walk-up testing site in East Oakland through a partnership with Roots Community Clinic, CORE and Verily.
- Residents of Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin who show one or more symptoms of the coronavirus or are in certain vulnerable populations can access drive-through testing at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. It is operating weekdays from 9 AM to 1 PM.
- Napa County officials announced a partnership with CORE and Verily that will help the county ramp up testing capability. Testing will be prioritized for first responders, health care workers, and symptomatic people. The county was able to test 600 people in the first week it was opened.
- Sonoma County is offering free coronavirus testing at sites in Santa Rosa and Petaluma starting May 5th for all residents — with or without symptoms or health insurance. There will be weekday appointments and will help the county get to 600-800 daily tests.
- Santa Clara County officials announced that coronavirus testing sites will open at the beginning of May at James Lick High School in East San Jose and Christopher High School in Gilroy. Each site will have capacity to test about 130 people per day on weekdays, with testing by appointment only and subject to state screening criteria.
Know of additional testing sites that should be added? Email email@example.com.