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4.8(2.8k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

1600 Market St, San Francisco, CA 941021600 Market St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in San Francisco, CA

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4.8(2.8k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

1600 Market St, San Francisco, CA 941021600 Market St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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5.0(2 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

1390 Market St, San Francisco, CA 941021390 Market St
OpenFri 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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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
$75

Available times

4.08(13 reviews)
1998 Market St, San Francisco, CA 941021998 Market St
OpenFri 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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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$75

Available times

4.1(119 reviews)
2288 Market St, San Francisco, CA 941142288 Market St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown
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Rapid
Results in < 1 hour

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4.54(439 reviews)
300 Jessie E, San Francisco, CA 94103300 Jessie E
OpenFri 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
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Recent patient review

Sixto was very helpful for getting information about the testing, and Josh was very helpful during registration and making sure everything was taken care of. Got my results in less than 24 hours.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

170 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133170 Columbus Ave
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

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4.4(57 reviews)
930 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117930 Cole St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

4.89(9 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

345 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105345 Spear St
OpenFri 9:00 am - 2:00 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 - 2:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$75

Available times

4.0(80 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

2395 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 941232395 Lombard St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.9(5.6k reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

2895 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 941312895 Diamond St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
dignity-health-gohealth-urgent-care-glen-park
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Recent patient review

Melanie went out of her way to accommodate my husband and me when we came in to get Covid tests. Due to our unforeseen scheduling error, we didn't have an appointment at that time, but she said we could wait in case she could fit us in between patients, even though they were fully booked. She was able to complete our tests quickly and courteously. We were extremely pleased with the care we received. Thanks, Melanie!
PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.08(13 reviews)
2131 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 941222131 Irving St
OpenFri 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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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in < 1 hour
$75

Available times

4.8(6.1k reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

199 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127199 W Portal Ave
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
dignity-health-gohealth-urgent-care-west-portal
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Recent patient review

clean and nicely decorated. the staff is super friendly and helpful. i honestly wouldn’t go anywhere else
PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.5(16 reviews)
3251 20th Ave, San Francisco, CA 941323251 20th Ave
OpenFri 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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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$75

Available times

San Bruno Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94128San Bruno Avenue
OpenFri 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thu 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Fri 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sat 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
worksite-labs-san-francisco-san-bruno-near-sfo-airport
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.54(26 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

2690 5th St, Alameda, CA 945012690 5th St
OpenFri 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:15 am - 7:00 pm
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Recent patient review

So glad to have an urgent care in Alameda! I was very pleased with the experience and the professionalism
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$180
Antigen Test
Results in < 1 hour
$75

Available times

4.8(8.3k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

325 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015325 Gellert Blvd
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.9(8.1k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

1310 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 940661310 El Camino Real
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Time to results unknown

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4.43(14 reviews)
411 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610411 Grand Ave
OpenFri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • 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
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
carbon-health-oakland
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$75

Available times

4.9(8.7k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

3900 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 946113900 Piedmont Ave
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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4.8(13k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

750 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941750 Redwood Hwy
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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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-19 Testing Updates

Oct 31, 2022
A surge in respiratory syncytial virus is putting severe strain on children's hospitals nationwide. Hospitals first began seeing the unseasonable RSV rise in August. Now, many are reporting a case increase of over 300 percent compared to last month. (Becker's)
Oct 28, 2022
With the BQ.1.1 variant on the rise in Europe, experts express concern of a rise in COVID cases this winter; encourage everyone to max out their boosters and vaccinate their children (Houston Chronicle)

COVID-19 Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost in San Francisco?

    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 Francisco?

    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 Francisco-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 Francisco?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near San Francisco 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 Francisco?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many San Francisco-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 Francisco?

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in San Francisco 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 San Francisco?

    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 in San Francisco?

    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-19 Testing Reviews (20)

The person scheduled us last minute which were so thankful for. Everyone was really great including the doctor assistant who administered the covid tests.

- Verified patient on 7/17

I was already impressed with how easy it was to book a covid test appointment online, but the amount of open availability. I was even more impressed when I almost immediately received a follow up call from a very friendly staff member. The next day, I was able to get in for my appointment and it took less than 5 mins! It was clean and safe, and -again- the staff, from both the front desk woman to the nurse who did my test, was beyond kind and efficient. I highly recommend coming here.

- Verified patient on 9/15

I felt very unsafe with the way the covid test was taken. Patients should not have to wait in a four-square-foot alcove behind the curtain with no air circulation—the same alcove dozens of other patients with suspected covid exposure stood in. When I asked to wait outside the curtain, I was told to stay inside. Not pandemic safe at all.

- Verified patient on 12/15

Quick and easy however parking is brutal. Expect at least 10 mins to get parking. However, went for a Covid test, friendly staff and quick process. I have PPO and paid $30. Pretty surprised for the cost at an urgent care, typically it’s more expensive. Thanks!

- Verified patient on 12/24

Went for a Covid test and it was very quick and efficient. I’m only docking one star for cleanliness bc the testing area is in the vestibule/entryway to the facility. (It’s private and covered from the public, but you are outdoors. It was still clean.)

- Verified patient on 9/17

COVID test. Quick and easy

- Verified patient on 11/7

Just here for a covid test. It was in an alley with pop up tents as an office. It was adequate for what they are providing, a covid test.

- Verified patient on 11/9

Best covid test experience I have had!

- Verified patient on 4/13

I was charged $20. My Unitedhealthcare said I don’t have to pay anything for Covid test.

- Verified patient on 12/9

Had to take a COVID test for dental work. Made appointment online. They followed up with phone call. Went in the next morning. In and out in 10 min. Thanks

- Verified patient on 6/27

I really only went for a COVID test which took place in the entry way of the clinic. So not a fair assessment of the clinic beyond wait time, organization and staff&clinician friendliness, all which were very good.

- Verified patient on 12/26

Went for covid test which was done outside behind curtains which made a lot of sense. Safety for all concerned.

- Verified patient on 11/5

Quick and no hassle appointment for a COVID test for a dental procedure. Easy online check-in. It was a bit strange to conduct the test in the doorway of the clinic, but as I said, it was done very quickly.

- Verified patient on 2/1

We needed a covid test for my daughter’s school. They had an open appointment a week from the day I checked. So only a week delay to test, if you want same-day service; not happening here; expect a week delay. We got to appointment 15 min early; because I was paying out of pocket, I didn’t have to fill out all the insurance stuff. They can take cash or credit card (I didn’t check if they would take a personal check). Daughter got swabbed and test takes 3-5 working days for results.

- Verified patient on 1/10

I did my COVID test there, and upon arrival staff were friendly and accommodating. Great customer service!

- Verified patient on 4/11

We were tested in the open air entry way of the clinic, separated from the front door and the sidewalk by a curtain. This felt like a safe way to provide the covid test.

- Verified patient on 12/14

Nurse didn’t ware gloves while conducting COVID tests

- Verified patient on 1/1

I try to get a COVID test today, I have downloaded the app and ask me to check in once I arrived. My appointment is 12:20pm and I checked in at 12:00pm, and app told me no one in front of me, but no one calls me in as well, I thought they will text me when is my turn. So I wait in my car. Until the time, still no text messages or nothing, so I walked in. And the rep seems like don’t even know I have an appointment today, and keep asking me all different questions, like are you Anna, I am like no, I am xx. And she is asking r you get vaccines today, I said no, I am here for testing. And she keep asking all other questions on the form which I already filled out on the web. I just wondering the app not really communicating to the clinic, so the rep keep asking me all the same questions again. The second thing is once I sit in the little office, the nurse instead measuring my height and weight, she asking me what is my height and weight to fill out the form. So I provided the answer. She tried to measure my blood pressure, and the number not coming out, and at the end she gave up, and didn’t have my blood pressure. The last thing is when I sit in the little office to wait for my result since I order the rapid test. I saw the sink is dirty with all the water spot on the surface. The one time use ear measurements not full and no one filling up. And the doctor walked in at the end to do a summarize, and her white coat is actually very dirty with black and yellow color around the pockets areas. She probably wear it for a while. But the test results turn out with in 15min, and I am negative. This is what I want to know.

- Verified patient on 7/21

Very easy to book and very easy to take the rapid Covid test. My only complaint would be the website & signage state 15 mins but you actually have to wait one hour and return to site. A text with results would be great.

- Verified patient on 10/30

Very simple easy covid test. No wait time. In and out in no time. Very friendly competent staff. Made a stressful situation less so.

- Verified patient on 12/17

San Francisco 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.

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