All you need to know about different testing methods for Covid-19
and where to go for testing in Orange County.

Types of Covid Tests

Test Type of Test Sample used for testing Positive Test Result means Negative Test Result means
PCR Diagnostic Swab from mouth, nose, or throat You have an active Covid infection at the time of taking the sample You do not have an active Covid infection at the time taking the sample
Antigen Diagnostic Swab from nose or throat You have an active Ccovid infection at the time of taking the sample You do not have an active Covid infection at the time of taking the sample
Antibody Antibody Blood sample You have been exposed to the virus and have developed the antibodies You have not been infected with the Coronavirus previously

There are two types of Covid tests available:

  1. Diagnostic Tests – To identify the presence of the virus to determine an active Covid infection.
  • PCR Test
  • Rapid Antigen Test

A diagnostic test can help identify active infection. It can help infected persons to get the necessary treatment to combat a Covid-19 infection. It can also detect infection in persons who are asymptomatic, i.e., they do not show any symptoms. Such persons can isolate themselves to prevent spreading the virus to others.

  1. Antibody Test – To identify the presence of Covid antibodies which help determine if you had previously been infected with the Coronavirus.

 An antibody test can ascertain that you have previously been exposed to the virus and your immunity system has developed the antibodies. Thus, this test can identify possible plasma donors for treatment of Covid-19. It can take anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks for your body to make antibodies after being exposed to the virus.

Pre-requisite for Testing: No pre-requisite or preparation is needed for the test in the form of fasting or anything else.

Who needs to get a Covid test done?

The below persons can get a Covid-19 test done:

  1. Persons who have come in contact with another infected person(s).
  2. Persons who are recommended by their healthcare provider to get a Covid-19 test done.
  3. Persons who have symptoms of Covid-19.
  4. Persons who have frequent contact with the public, such as an essential worker.

Where to go for testing in Orange County?

A doctor’s note is not required for testing. People with or without symptoms can get themselves tested.If you think you need a Covid test, you should first check with your healthcare provider. If you have insurance, you can call the customer service of your insurance provider to locate a healthcare provider near you.
Testing Option Additional Info Where to get it done?
At-Home Testing Recommended for asymptomatic patients, people with high exposure

Testing kits are available after online registration.

Saliva Kit Registration – https://oc.care.ambrygen.com/#/cit/landing


Nostril Swab Kit – https://picturegenetics.com/covid19?c=OCPROMO

Drive-Through Testing (Also known as Super Sites) Please make an appointment before going for a test Get an appointment here: https://360clinic.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment/screen/landing
Walk-up State testing sites Several locations in OC such as Buena Park, Orange, Santa Ana Register at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888)634-1123
Community Center Service is prioritized for persons who do not speak English Find a location at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/oc-covid-19-testing-network-those-symptoms
Asian Pacific Islander Taskforce Several locations in OC Website: https://www.apitaskforce.org/testing-modes
Testing at Clinics, Labs, Pharmacies, Urgent Cares Recommended to call ahead and make appointments Website: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/testing-resources-orange-county

Testing is available at no out of pocket cost. It is billed on the insurance. If you don’t have insurance, the test is provided at no cost. Please check with the test center about the cost if you don’t have insurance before showing up for the test.

Find out more about testing centers in Orange County here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the testing 100% accurate?

The testing is not 100% accurate. If you have symptoms or have come in contact with a person infected with Covid, repeat the test after consulting your doctor.

Does the testing tell you whether you are immune to Covid infection?

No. The viral test results only tell that you are not infected with the Coronavirus at the time of testing. The antibody test results can indicate that you have been previously infected with the virus. However, both the tests do not indicate immunity against the virus.

Does the testing guarantee protection from further Covid infection?

No. The testing does not guarantee protection from the virus. You can still contract the virus at a later point and become an active carrier of the virus.

Is Covid Testing the only way to ascertain Covid infection?

No. Since the test is not 100% accurate, your doctor can determine whether you are infected with the Coronavirus from your symptoms or through other diagnostics such as a CT scan of the chest.

Do you need to present a negative test certificate before you join back to work?

No. You are not required to submit a negative test report in order to return to work. However, if you have been infected with the virus at some point, your healthcare provider might be able to advise whether the virus in your body is still contagious and when it might be safe for you to return to work.

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