Testing is currently recommended if you:
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- don't have symptoms but have a known COVID-19 exposure or exposure concerns
- are suspected of COVID-19 by a health care provider
- are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public
Individuals who live in Orange County should first call their health care provider for a COVID-19 test. If you have health insurance and need help finding your health care provider, call the customer service number on your insurance card, or view websites of major health care providers in Orange County.
Additional testing options are available below:
- 1NOTE: The COVID-19 Testing provided by licensed medical practitioners is at no cost to you because third party payors are billed. Third party payors include: Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance plans, HRSA, CA DHCS and/or the Orange County Health Care Agencies. Under the FFCRA, payors are not allowed to impose any cost-sharing requirements (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance).
Community members with general questions related to COVID-19 can contact the County of Orange COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. For medical questions, residents can call the Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448. COVID-related health tip handouts are also available.
Types of Testing
There are three kinds of tests for COVID-19: PCR/viral tests and serology/antibody tests.
- A PCR or molecular test tells you if you have a current infection. It is taken with a swab in the mouth, nose or throat.
- An antigen test is a newer COVID-19 test that tells if you have a current infection. It is taken with a nasal or throat swab.
- An antibody (serology) test does NOT tell you if you are infected currently. It only tells you if you had a previous infection and currently is not recommended for individual use. It is done through a needle or fingerstick to get a blood sample.
For more information on the different types of tests visit HERE.
Resources on this page are for PCR/viral tests or antigen testing for COVID-19 in Orange County.
Note: Starting November 2020, Orange County COVID-19 Testing Super Sites and other select sites will begin testing for COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.
Antigen Test Fact Sheet
Clearance from Isolation and Return to Work for Persons with Confirmed COVID-19 Infection
Persons with confirmed COVID-19 infection can have isolation precautions discontinued when their illness improves by three criteria:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms have improved.
CDC no longer recommends the test-based strategy to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except for rare exceptions.