COVID-19 Testing

COVID Testing Flowchart

For COVID-19 Testing Resources, you can check with your healthcare provider or any the following resources:

State of California


Call: (877) 219-8378

Latino Health Access

(714) 805-7838


Testing is available through the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) for people who live or work in Orange County and is recommended if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19, whether or not you are vaccinated.
  • Don't have symptoms but have a known COVID-19 exposure or exposure concerns.
  • Are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public.
  • Even if fully vaccinated, COVID-19 testing is recommended:
    • 24 hours before gathering or traveling (domestic or international)
    • 3-5 days after gathering or traveling (domestic or international)

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.


HCA Self-Collection PCR Testing Kits Available to Order

Order Self-Collection Kit

  • Order self-collection test kits by clicking on the red boxes.
  • You must have an email account to request a kit. You will need to provide an email address for each individual test kit ordered. The email address facilitates test results.
  • Self-collection test kits are available at no cost for individuals who live or work in Orange County. The kits may be delivered to OC Zip codes only.
  • Home delivery test kits, include prepaid return shipping.
  • Orders are typically fulfilled within 24-48 hours (Holidays may effect timing). Shipping channels are currently impacted and very high demand for testing is causing service delays in fulfilling requests.
  • Failure to register, collect and send in your sample within a reasonable time may void your test kit.
  • To find a FedEx drop-off location, visit or call (800) 463-3339 to schedule a pickup.

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 nostril 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.

Antigen Test Fact Sheet

Clearance from Isolation and Return to Work for Persons with Confirmed COVID-19 Infection

Testing Positive

Protect Yourself and Others
Downloadable Flyers

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.

Source of changes:

CDC no longer recommends the test-based strategy to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except for rare exceptions.