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Providers: Please be aware of the Medi-Cal Rx Reinstatement of Prior Authorization Requirements and Retirement of the Transition Policy for Beneficiaries 22 Years of Age and Older. Click here for more information.

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COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing Sites

To find free COVID-19 testing sites, call the statewide COVID-19 hotline at 1.833.422.4255 or go to https://myturn.ca.gov/testing.html to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.

Test-to-Treat Program

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can get tested, be seen by a health care provider, and receive medication all in one place at a Test-to-Treat site.

If you have medical conditions that make you more likely to get very sick with COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive treatments. Both adults and children over the age of 12 can receive treatments.

Click here to find a Test-to-Treat Location near you.

For information about COVID-19 at-home tests and how to get tests for free, view the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

FAQs about COVID-19 at-home tests

What is an at-home Covid-19 test?

COVID-19 at-home tests (also referred to as self-tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. At home tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.

Will my tests come with instructions on how to use them?

Yes. Tests will have instructions on how to use them.

When should I use my tests?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take an at-home test:

  • If you begin having COVID-⁠19 symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or
  • At least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-⁠19, or
  • When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-⁠19 vaccines.

For more on when to use at-home tests, see the latest CDC self-testing guidance here.

I am / am not vaccinated. Will these tests work for me?

Yes. The tests work whether or not you are up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines.

I do not have any symptoms but have been / may have been exposed to COVID-19. Will these tests work for me?

Yes. The tests work whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms.

After taking the test, how long does it take to get my results?

The test will give results within 30 minutes.

Once I take the test, do I need to drop it off at a lab or doctor’s office?

No. You will receive your results within 30 minutes. The test does not require lab drop-off.

I took a COVID-19 at-home test and it came back positive. What do I do?

A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection and should stay home or isolate, wear a mask if you could have contact with others, and avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else. You should also notify your primary care provider and any close contacts of your positive test result. For the most up-to-date quarantine information, click here.

I took a COVID-19 at-home test because I was exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus, and it came back negative. What do I do?

A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected. If you think your negative test result may be incorrect, contact your primary care provider to determine whether or not additional testing is necessary.

I took a COVID-19 at-home test and it shows invalid or error. What do I do?

Sometimes invalid results or an error can show on the test device. Invalid results or an error can occur for many reasons. Your specimen may not have been collected correctly, or the test may have malfunctioned.

Invalid test results are rare but can occur. If the self-test shows an invalid result or a test error, the test did not work properly. If this happens, refer to the instructions for use in the package insert and contact the manufacturer for help.

FAQs about COVID-19 at-home tests from the pharmacy at no cost

Will Medi-Cal cover COVID-19 at-home test kits dispensed from the pharmacy?

Yes. As of Feb. 1, 2022, Medi-Cal began covering at-home test kits obtained at pharmacies enrolled as Medi-Cal providers.

Can I go to any pharmacy to get a free at-home test kit?

Medi-Cal only covers test kits obtained from pharmacies enrolled as Medi-Cal providers. To find an eligible pharmacy, click here.

Do I need a prescription to get an at-home test kit from my pharmacy at no cost?

Yes. At-home tests from a pharmacy and covered by Medi-Cal Rx require a prescription. You can get a prescription from the pharmacist when you request your test.

How do I get a prescription for an at-home test from my pharmacy?

The pharmacist can write you a prescription for an at home test when you go to get them.

Is there a limit of how many at-home test kits I can get from the pharmacy?

Yes. Each Medi-Cal member is allowed up to eight test kits (or four test kits that include two separate tests each) per month at no charge.

I purchased an at-home test kit before Feb. 1, 2022. Can I get reimbursed?

Yes. Members who purchased an at home test kit between March 11, 2021, and January 31, 2022, can get reimbursed for the retail cost with a receipt. For more information, click here.