How to Get Tested for Coronavirus in Southern California

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

As Southern Californian residents hunker down amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people are wondering how they can get tested for the virus, dubbed COVID-19. As testing for the virus continues to ramp up around the state, health officials in the region are asking people to first contact their personal care physician, who help determine if you actually have the symptoms needed to get tested.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 include: sore throat, coughing, congestion, and a runny nose.

Here's how the various counties around Southern California are handling testing:

In L.A. County:

Health officials in L.A. County have established protocols for those who wish to get tested for the novel coronavirus and unless you follow them, you probably won't be. Residents in L.A. County who believe they are infected with the novel coronavirus must first contact their primary care physician, who will then refer you to a testing center if you meet the criteria laid out by health officials for testing.

For now, the county has not established any drive-up testing facilities, which have been popping up around the nation. However, there is a program in development at Kaiser-Permanente which could expand soon.

High-risk patients, which include those over 60, and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart and lung disease, are tested if they show symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

“The latest CDC and health authority guidance directs clinicians to use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and should be tested, and that is what our physicians have been doing,” a statement from Kaiser-Permanente spokesman Terry Kanakri said.

People are being urged by county officials to NOT call 911 or show up at the ER or Urgent Care.

In Orange County:

COVID-19 testing has been made available at multiple clinical laboratories across the county, health officials say. However, people who wish to get tested must contact their healthcare provider, who will determine whether or not you qualify for testing.

Walk-ins to the public health clinics will not be accomodated for testing, Orange County Health Officials say.

In Riverside County:

Residents in Riverside county who believe they may be infected with the novel coronavirus can schedule an appointment for a drive-up test in Lake Elsinore for Saturday and Sunday.

The Riverside University Health System has partnered with Diamond Stadium to provide testing. The location is just off the 15 Freeway at 500 Diamond Drive. People can make an appointment by calling (800) 945-6171. Health officials emphasized that people need to make appointment in advance and must have symptoms of COVID-19.

More information is available at

In Ventura County

Health officials in Ventura County recommend residents there follow CDC guidelines on whether they qualify to get tested for the novel coronavirus. According to the website, if you've developed COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home and call your healthcare provider. Those who are older than 60 or have severe underlying medical conditions, or are immunocompromised, should contact their healthcare provider early, even if the illness is mild.

People who are demonstrating severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or inability to arouse, are being told to contact their healthcare provider and seek care immediately.

Photo: Getty Images

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