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Carbon Health, Escondido

Carbon Health

5.0(1 reviews)
1855 S Centre City Pkwy, Escondido, CA 920251855 S Centre City Pkwy
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in San Diego, CA

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in San Diego and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.

COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in San Diego, CA

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in San Diego and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.
<strong>COVID testing & Rapid testing near me</strong> in San Diego, CA Illustration
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Rapid testing with LUX Nursing

Rapid testing with LUX Nursing

4.79(53 reviews)
1111 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 921011111 Sixth Ave
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
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  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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Recent patient review

This was so easy and fast. The place was spacious, safe and clean. Staff was friendly and professional. If you want quality service and quick accurate results, look no further.
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Self-pay pricing

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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$250
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$99
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Video Visits
4.8
113

Care so fast, you'll still be in your PJs

As low as $49 per visit

Recent 5-star patient review

I was seen quickly, without being in a waiting room for hours! Friendly and thorough, an amazing patient experience!

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carbon-health-escondido

Carbon Health, Escondido

Carbon Health

5.0(1 reviews)
1855 S Centre City Pkwy, Escondido, CA 920251855 S Centre City Pkwy
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$60
carbon-health-san-marcos

Carbon Health, San Marcos

Carbon Health

4.3(43 reviews)
109 S Las Posas Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078109 S Las Posas Rd
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • WedClosed
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$60
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East County Urgent Care, Urgent Care & Work Injuries

East County Urgent Care

4.63(1.8k reviews)
1625 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 920211625 E Main St
OpenSun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Didn’t get as much information for my medical situation as expected. Doctor was nice, but didn’t offer any solutions to get at the root cause of my illness.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
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East County Urgent Care, Video Visit

East County Urgent Care

4.82(400 reviews)
1625 E Main St, El Cajon, CA 920211625 E Main St
View hours of operation
  • Mon11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Tue11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Wed11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Thu11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Fri11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

PA Amy Foster was super helpful, thorough, and super friendly. Great experience!
md-today-urgent-care-scripps-ranch

MD Today Urgent Care, Scripps Ranch

MD Today Urgent Care

4.83(2.5k reviews)
10605 Scripps Poway Pkwy, San Diego, CA 9213110605 Scripps Poway Pkwy
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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Recent patient review

Staff was courteous Doctor was direct knowledgeable very helpful very satisfied would return if I had to hopefully not ha ha
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No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
$200
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$99
md-today-urgent-care-carmel-valley

MD Today Urgent Care, Carmel Valley

MD Today Urgent Care

4.84(1.9k reviews)
3830 Valley Centre Dr, San Diego, CA 921303830 Valley Centre Dr
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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Recent patient review

The wait was extremely long despite having an appointment. It was difficult to wait that long because of how sick I was feeling. However, staff was friendly and quality of care was good so the overall the experience was positive. Staff seemed apologetic for the wait time and I felt well taken care of.
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Self-pay pricing

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No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
$200
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$99
carbon-health-la-costa

Carbon Health, La Costa

Carbon Health

0.0(0 reviews)
6971 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 920096971 El Camino Real
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online
Bill Icon

Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$60
exhort-health-urgent-care-san-marcos

Exhort Health Urgent Care, San Marcos

Exhort Health Urgent Care

4.96(107 reviews)
727 W San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92078727 W San Marcos Blvd
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

Definitely a great experience, from check in to check out. Great staff and amazing environment. Would definitely recommend any care needed this is place you want to go. Will definitely return for any of my future medical needs and concerns.
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$197
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$127
carlsbad-urgent-care-san-marcos

Carlsbad Urgent Care, San Marcos

Carlsbad Urgent Care

4.55(942 reviews)
295 S Rancho Santa Fe Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078295 S Rancho Santa Fe Rd
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
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Recent patient review

Very Clean and Wonderful staff. Doctor Allen is The Best.... My wait time was lil long this time. I will return to this office when I need care...
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Results in 1-5 days
$95
lux-concierge-vista-on-site-covid-19-testing

Lux Concierge Vista, On-site covid- 19 testing

Lux Concierge Vista

5.0(1 reviews)
450 S Melrose Dr, Vista, CA 92081450 S Melrose Dr
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
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  • WedClosed
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online
Bill Icon

Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$150
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
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AFC Urgent Care San Diego, Virtual Visit

AFC Urgent Care San Diego

4.69(600 reviews)
5671 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 921115671 Balboa Ave
View hours of operation
  • Mon10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TueClosed
  • Wed10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

Dr. Rafl is a nice and gracious doctor who listens. He will answer your questions about your health that concerns you which will put you at ease.
cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

510 C St, San Diego, CA 92101510 C St
OpenSun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

1023 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 921011023 Fourth Ave
OpenSun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • MonClosed
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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detect-lab

Detect Lab

Detect Lab

401 B St, San Diego, CA 92101401 B St
OpenSun 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

645 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101645 Market St
OpenSun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Gaslamp Medical Center

Gaslamp Medical Center

3.0(29 reviews)
250 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101250 Market St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

400 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101400 Fifth Ave
OpenSun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • MonClosed
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Safe Point San Diego

Safe Point San Diego

15th And G, San Diego, CA 9210115th And G
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
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  • WedClosed
  • Thu 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Fri10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

101 Park Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101101 Park Plaza
OpenSun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • MonClosed
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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VIDEO: Dr. Isaac Thomsen, pediatric infectious disease specialist, discusses COVID-19 and Delta variant and what in means for kids.Watch now!

Latest COVID Testing updates

May 10, 2022
The nation's flu positivity test rate reached nearly 10 percent in mid-April, making it the first time such an increase has occurred so late in the flu season since 1982 (NBC News)
May 6, 2022
The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, according to a preprint version of a large U.S. study that counters assumptions in other studies that it was more transmissible but less severe. (Reuters)

COVID Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost?

    In many cases, COVID testing can be free. Many state and local health departments continue to offer free testing to community residents as part of their response to the pandemic. In other cases, commercially insured patients, or those on Medicare or Medicaid, may receive testing at no out of pocket cost, or with a nominal office visit copay. For cash paying patients, or those that need rapid COVID testing which will deliver results in under an hour, COVID tests can range from $50 to $150 each. It is best to call your healthcare provider prior to getting tested to better understand the cost of the specific test you require.

  • Where can I get free COVID testing in San Diego?

    COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. Check with your San Diego-area health department as they are generally a good source for free COVID tests, or can at least point you in the right direction. Additionally, you can ask your primary care provider to recommend a free COVID test site.

  • Where can I get COVID testing in San Diego?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near San Diego including urgent care centers, retail clinics, primary care offices, health departments, and more. Different venues will have different types of tests available, many at different price points. Some testing sites are allowing walk-in patients, however, many are still requiring some degree of advance booking to control patient volume.

  • Where can I get a rapid COVID test in San Diego?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many San Diego-area urgent care centers and physician offices, usually at an additional cost ranging from $50 up to $150 per test. Usually this will allow you to get results back in under an hour, and require advanced booking through the provider. However, if you can wait 24 hours for your results, many labs are turning around send-out lab tests in that time frame, which could save you some money.

  • How to make an appointment for COVID testing in San Diego?

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in San Diego are bookable directly through Solv. Simply browse the list of healthcare providers conducting COVID tests above, find one with a “Book Online” button, and book a time that aligns with your schedule stating “COVID-19 Test” as your reason for visit.

  • Can I get tested for antibodies if I am sick with COVID-19?

    An antibody test for COVID-19 might inform you if you previously had a coronavirus infection. Because it can take between 1–3 weeks after an infection for your body to develop these antibodies, an antibody test during an active infection would not be successful. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test.

  • Do I need a COVID test if I have been vaccinated?

    Even if you have been fully vaccinated, if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, experts believe that you should be tested yourself, particularly if you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms commonly aligned with the coronavirus.

  • How long does COVID testing take?

    Getting a COVID test is quick. Most tests are done with a nasal swab, which takes less than a minute to swab both nostrils. Depending on where you get your COVID test, this means you could be in and out of the testing site in as little as 10-15 minutes. During busy times—particularly around holidays—testing sites may be busier than usual and wait times may be longer.

  • How long does it take to get COVID test results?

    Most labs are returning send-out molecular (PCR) COVID test results within 24-48 hours of the test. Some sites take longer, so call and ask if the reason for the test is proof for travel. Rapid COVID tests are processed on-site and are able to deliver results in under an hour, sometimes in as little as 15 min.

  • Do COVID tests detect the Delta variant and Omicron variant?

    Regular COVID tests are able to detect both the Delta variant and Omicron variant in that they can determine whether or not you have the coronavirus. However, they can't tell which variation is involved. That would necessitate genomic sequencing, which is a different process from regular virus testing that not all labs can undertake. Sequencing is uncommon and can cost up to $100 per test. Since the treatment is the same for any variant, it is not clinically useful to an individual patient to know whether the infection was caused by a variant or not.

Recent COVID Testing reviews (20)

I liked having the opportunity to have a video appointment and then curbside Covid test without having to go in the office.

- Verified patient on 1/11

This is my first time coming here for a drive up Covid test for myself and my daughter. The process was quick and painless! I would recommend this caregiver to anyone who needs a Covid test!

- Verified patient on 10/11

Our covid testing was quick and easy! Our nurse, Kristen, was friendly, efficient and took care of myself, my husband and our 3 small children quickly. All in all a great experience.

- Verified patient on 11/30

Stevie was kind and fast! Everyone. From the receptionist to Daphne on teleheath to the covid test by Stevie was efficient with no waiting!!

- Verified patient on 3/17

In order to travel to Canada, I needed to get a (molecular) Covid test. It's a bit tricky because you need to get a negative test result within 72 hours of departure, but you also need the results quickly so that you can log into Canada's system. I searched several test providers but most didn't have availability this past Saturday afternoon. I was able to make an appointment at MD Today Urgent Care for 6:00 PM and it could not have gone smoother or any easier. I appreciated being called prior to the appointment time to clarify which test was most appropriate. They let you self-swab which is always more comfortable. Within 20 minutes of being tested, I was called again with the result - followed by an email. I strongly recommend MD Today Urgent Care. They are located a bit East of I-5 and North of Hwy 56 - just North of San Diego.

- Verified patient on 11/8

I was there for Covid testing other than for quality of the video the doctor called me immediately and we had no trouble proceeding with the reason for the visit

- Verified patient on 1/5

My experience with the provider during the telehealth visit was excellent. He listened to my concerns and had great bedside manner. The actual staff at AFC who I interacted with to get my covid test were rude and very short with me. Their communication was not clear and I ended up waiting longer than it should have taken.

- Verified patient on 2/2

Covid test protocol of staying in car for testing runs smoothly. Staff is nice. Phone connection/signal for virtual appt is not good, but serves the purpose

- Verified patient on 1/13

I came in for a Covid test. The test was quick and it was curbside! The provider was friendly and proficient! The entire process took about 15 minutes from checkin to when I was driving away.

- Verified patient on 1/2

Quick and easy COVID testing. We had to get my 3 year old daughter tested in order to attend an event and Kristen was really good with her and explained what she was going to do so it wasn’t scary.

- Verified patient on 11/14

Very easy process - filled in forms online, spoke with PA remotely, then drive up to the office for the Covid test. Kristin came out to my car and couldn’t have been more nice. She explained everything to me and guided me through it. Would gladly recommend MD Today Urgent Care.

- Verified patient on 12/11

Needed a rapid COVID test to be able to spend Xmas with my family, couldn’t chance the regular test turn around time. they were able to see me in one day as opposed to a 3-5 day wait like other clinics

- Verified patient on 12/23

Got in for a Covid test right away since I had been exposed. Had a visit from a PA who was great and the tech who did the test was extremely efficient and explained everything she was doing. 2 thumbs up!

- Verified patient on 8/18

Trying to get a COVID test. Unfortunately after my appointment they couldn’t get me I. Until the next day for the test. I will go somewhere else for the test

- Verified patient on 1/11

The physician who did my virtual appt was very friendly, however the man who actually did my covid test was very rude, terrible bedside manner. I understand it’s probably been busy but his overall demeanor was very off-putting. The one star for bedside manner and staff friendliness only apply to him. Again virtual appt was great 👍

- Verified patient on 12/6

This is the 4th time I have used MDToday- twice for urgent care appointments and twice for Covid tests. Staff were always very professional and knowledgeable. Today’s appointment with Michelle was thorough, caring and professional. Jonathan, who administered the test curbside, was also very professional and gave me clear directions and had a positive attitude. I’ll continue to use this office for care in the future.

- Verified patient on 2/16

I needed a quick COVID test and the staff was super helpful, responsive and professional. The results came back quickly and I was called with results within 20 minutes. Thank you!

- Verified patient on 12/7

After booking the wrong kind of appointment for a Covid test I had to reschedule for 4 days from now. They told me they would put me on a cancellation list, we all know what that means…not much. Wrong. I received a call back within 30 minutes that they had a cancellation. The staff is on it and all about helping the patients. Thank you so much MD Urgent Care!!!

- Verified patient on 1/2

You are the ONLY travel clearance clinic we would ever use! The NP and the nurse administering the Covid test were the BEST. Both were very pleasant and immediately decreased our anxiety level. Excellent customer service!

- Verified patient on 4/21

Had my first covid test. Was able to get an appointment the next day. Very easy directions to follow. Hope to get the results soon.

- Verified patient on 12/10

San Diego COVID Testing & Rapid Testing

Types of COVID Tests

There are two types of coronavirus tests (COVID-19 tests) available, those that can test for a current infection (viral test) and those that can test for a past infection (antibody test).

Viral COVID testing can be done in a few different ways, the most common being nose swabs, but saliva tests are becoming more popular. Some tests are processed out on-site and can provide results in as little as 30 minutes. These are called rapid COVID tests. The majority of tests, on the other hand, are collected at the clinic on-site and then submitted to off-site labs for processing. Results can take up to 2-3 days to arrive. 

Antibody testing looks for a past infection and may not reveal if you have an active COVID-19 infection because antibodies can take up to three weeks to form in your body. The presence of COVID antibodies may help to prevent you from becoming infected with the same virus again; but, because the clinical understanding of COVID-19 is still developing, it's unclear how long that protection will continue.

Who should get tested for current infection

The CDC currently defines four instances where COVID testing is recommended:

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  2. If you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. If you have been vaccinated, or tested positive in the past 3 months and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to be tested.
  3. If you are unvaccinated and participated in high-risk activities where distancing is not an option. This could include travel, large social or mass gatherings, crowded indoor settings, etc.
  4. If you have been referred to get a COVID test by your healthcare provider or local health department. 

How is testing done for COVID-19?

Most COVID tests are collected by a nasal swab. A member of the medical team puts a swab inside your nose for a few seconds on each side to collect the sample. After that, the samples are packaged according to CDC guidelines and tested on-site or transported to a facility for testing. The lab will test samples for the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID infection and either your care provider or the lab will notify you with the results as soon as they are available.

PCR vs Antigen Testing

Viral COVID tests are available as molecular and antigen tests. The molecular test, also known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually delivers results within a few days since most of these tests are sent to offsite labs for analysis. The average turnaround time for PCR test results is 48 hours, but in some instances may be significantly longer due to backlogs related to insufficient lab volume and capacity. Antigen tests are also known as rapid tests and have an average turnaround time of between 15 to 30 minutes.

Both PCR and rapid COVID tests can be used to test people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, those who were close contacts to COVID-19, and those without COVID-19 symptoms who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as a nursing facility); or those individuals who are identified as part of outbreak detection and response. The rapid COVID test is also recommended for the screening of residents or healthcare workers at skilled nursing facilities along with a PCR confirmation, and for repeat screening for the early detection and prevention of outbreaks in congregate settings (such as schools, workplaces, and prisons).

COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. To reduce the risk of facing extra costs related to COVID testing, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a free COVID test site, and confirm there are no charges or fees for the test that are not covered by your insurance plan. Additionally, avoid getting a COVID test at a hospital or free-standing emergency room, as these facilities may charge fees for COVID testing and related services.

Rob Rohatsch
Medically reviewed by Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on May 25, 22

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