Public Health

Where & How to Get A Rapid COVID Test in Los Angeles?

Alyssa Orcuilo24 Nov 2020

Quick Digest:

  • As of November 18th, Los Angeles County has had 342,000 confirmed cases with 7,275 deaths
  • It's essential that you contact the clinic or your primary care doctor before going in for testing
  • People are still encouraged to stay 6-feet away from others and wear cloth face coverings as masks
  • Los Angeles now has access to COVID-19 tests but asks that patients only seek testing if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

Los Angeles Situation Updates

  • Virus transmission in the county is rated as widespread by the governor's reopening regime, which places the area in Tier 1 and keeps schools and most nonessential businesses closed.
  • Over the past seven days, the county has reported an average of 2,672.4 new cases per day, a 92% increase from two weeks ago. Over that same period, there have been 14 deaths per day.
  • The county has reported cases in 344 cities or communities. East Los Angeles has tallied the most with 7,854.
  • The number of hospitalizations is growing. There are now 1,188 patients with a confirmed case, an increase from fourteen days ago.


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Where to Get Tested for Coronavirus in Los Angeles

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website, there are several clinics you can call to see if you can get tested for coronavirus COVID-19. It is recommended to first check-in with your primary care provider and see if they're conducting COVID-19 testing. If your doctor is not testing for the virus, you can call your local urgent care.

Additionally, if you think you had COVID-19 in the past, you may qualify to get an antibody test. NOTE: testing positive for the antibodies does not confer immunity and does not exempt you from wearing a face-covering or practicing social distancing.

UC San Francisco, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and Stanford are all offering tests for the novel coronavirus. Here's where you can get a coronavirus test:

Antelope Valley Public Health Center
335-B East Avenue K6
Lancaster, CA 93535

Central Public Health Center
241 N. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 240-8204

Curtis R. Tucker Public Health Center
123 W. Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 419-5325

Glendale Public Health Center
501 N. Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91206
(818) 500-5762

See the full list here.  


Where Can I Get A Rapid Test in Los Angeles?

Rapid coronavirus test is a type of COVID test that determines if the virus is present in your body. The test results are available in 15 minutes. Not all COVID-19 testing locations conduct rapid COVID tests. To learn more about the differences between tests, click here.

Los Angeles International Airport started providing three places to get a rapid coronavirus test as well- Terminal 2, Terminal 6, and Tom Bradley International Terminal, costing travelers $150 per test. Operated by Clarity Lab Solutions, the tests are standard PCR nasal swab tests that provide results within 24 hours.


Dr. David Nazarian

9301 Wilshilre Blvd Suite 405,
Beverly Hills, CA, 90210




9726 Venice Blvd
Culver City, CA, 90232



Quick Stop Urgent Care

1445 N.La Brea ave.

Los Angeles, California 90028

(323) 798-5158


215 N. Allen ave.

Pasadena, California 91106

(626) 817-9002


Please call each clinic to find more information about appointments and criteria to get tested.


Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

Severe symptoms include high fever, extreme difficulty breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest area, mental confusion, and a bluish tint to the lips or face. If any or all of these symptoms are present, seek emergency health care immediately.

It is recommended that you wear a cloth face covering when leaving the house for essential purposed, such as grocery shopping in order to reduce the chance of spreading the disease unknowingly. Acceptable options for face coverings include a bandana or scarf. Purchasing respirators or surgical masks (such as N95 masks) is highly discouraged, as they are in shortage and needed by health care professionals. Make sure you are wearing your mask correctly. Incorrect mask usage can increase the spread of germs. For example, clean your hands thoroughly before putting on a mask and use the elastics on the side of the mask to place it on your face and take it off. Note: face coverings are NOT a replacement for social distancing.


Screening Yourself Daily & Social Distancing is the Best Preparation

COVID-19 is easily spread by sneezing, coughing, and so forth, so simply avoiding contact is one of the most optimal choices you can make during this time. Self-quarantine means staying at home as much as possible. If you are able to miss school and work, it is suggested you do so. If you have traveled to a high-risk location recently, it is imperative. Avoid social settings and public space and avoid public transportation including small spaces like cabs and ride-shares. You can ask the following questions to screen yourself:

  • Have you been experiencing a fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath?
  • AND, have you traveled to geographic areas with the sustained transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?
  • OR, have you had close contact with a person confirmed with a COVID-19 infection?

If you have been in the same room as someone who has had COVID-19, you should disinfect the room. This link from the LA County Department of Public Health describes the proper way to deep clean a room that may have been infected:


What to Expect When Getting Tested?

The COVID-19 test is quite simple- a doctor will swab the inside of a patient‚Äôs nose or at the back of their throat. The sample will then be kept cool (between 35¬∞ to 45¬∞F) and sent to a commercial lab. However, if a sample is not processed within four days, it must be frozen, or a new sample is required. Once you have been approved for a test, it should take 48 hours to receive results, though in some cases it is taking up to a week. The process includes:

  • Nasal Swab. You should be seated and directed to angle the head back at 70 degrees, then the clinician applies the nasal swab, working it into the back of the nasal cavity before it reaches the posterior nasopharynx. This may be a little unpleasant because the clinicians move the swab to get enough sample material. Don't worry though, it's fairly quick.
  • Throat Swab. For the throat swab, you will be asked to open your mouth and the clinician will insert the swab as gently as possible into the back of the throat toward the tonsils. The swab should be touched over both tonsillar pillars, before removing and securing the sample.
  • Lower Respiratory Specimen. The final sample involved first rinsing your mouth with water. After this is done, you will be asked to cough up a specimen of sputum directly into a sterile sputum collection cup. This will subsequently be sealed by the clinician and sent off with your other samples to the nearest laboratory.

Nasal swab and throat swab for COVID-19 testing.


How Much Will it Cost? 

For patients who do not have insurance or a regular health care provider, there are 14 health centers dedicated to serving LA County with free and low-cost services. Find a care center in your area here.  Be mindful to call ahead of time for some clinics have limited hours. The federal government has pledged that the costs for coronavirus tests will be waived for all Americans. You will need to work with your health care provider for more information on your specific treatment costs.


Healthcare Can Be Confusing, Here Are More Resources:



How to Self-Quarantine

Frequent Updates on Outbreaks, Numbers to Call and Testing Sites:

Los Angeles Ramps Up:

 More On How Testing Works:



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