COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are now available at no cost to organizations, including businesses, faith-based organizations and congregate living facilities, through the State of California Testing Task Force (TTF).
Antigen testing is a rapid point-of-care test with results available in 15 to 30 minutes. Antigen tests are most useful for routine testing of a population (twice a week or more) such as in a workplace, at entry into a gathering or congregate setting, or in response to the identification of a positive case to prevent an outbreak, according to the TTF.
“Antigen testing can help organizations accelerate their return to normalcy, stay open and keep their community safe,” the TTF said.
Symptomatic people with negative antigen test results and those who test positive through the antigen process are required to take a more sensitive, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. There is a multi-step process to becoming test ready, which includes submitting an application, preparing for testing, receiving test kits and starting testing. The TTF says organizations that follow the steps in a timely manner can expect to receive their test kits in two to three weeks.
The state helps organizations by offering the zero-cost antigen tests, a patient registration and reporting platform, use of the state’s Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment waiver if needed and hands-on training. To get started, organizations can learn more about testing options at testing.covid19.ca.gov/get-started/ and submit an application to become a testing partner at testing.covid19.ca.gov/antigen-apply/.
Those who require a confirmatory PCR test can use the state-based lab PCR test at a cost of $55 per test (insurance does cover this cost), or receive a free test through OptumServe, which offers testing at various locations throughout the county. Walk-ins are welcome at all sites. Turnaround time for results averages 48 to 72 hours. See the full schedule below:
- Eureka – Seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Redwood Acres, 3750 Harris St.)
- McKinleyville – Mondays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road)
- Garberville – Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (SoHum Health Sprowl Creek Campus, 286 Sprowl Creek Road)
- Fortuna – Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (River Lodge Conference Center, 1800 Riverwalk Drive)
- Hoopa – Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Tsewenaldin Inn, 12482 CA-96)
- Arcata – Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (D Street Neighborhood Center, 1301 D St.)
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