Los Angeles County residents now have multiple options for obtaining free coronavirus test kits.
There are several brands of COVID-19 home testing kits that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and made available to Americans. Some give results in minutes, others can be sent to a lab with the result in a day or two later.
The kits were hard to find during the LA holidays, when residents rushed to pharmacies only to find they were sold out.
Here are a few different ways you can get a free test kit:
The district pickup program
This LA County program allows residents to pick up a PCR test kit, take the test at home or in their car, and then take it to a designated location for processing, with results promised within 24 to 48 hours of delivery .
The test kits are for immediate use only. Samples must be returned within 3-5 days of receiving the kits.
This program is for residents who have COVID-19 symptoms or think they may have been exposed to the virus.
The kits are available free of charge, without an appointment and while supplies last at these locations:
|– Obregon Park
– Memorial Park North Recreation Center
– San Gabriel Valley Airport
– Wingate Park
– Medical Campus MLK
– Ted Watkins Park
– Helen Keller Park
– Christmas Star Recreation Center
– Plummer Park
– Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando Valley
– Clara Street Park
– Los Nietos Library
|-Palmdale Hammack Center
– College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita
– Rosemead Library
– West Hollywood Library
– Lennox Library
– Lawndale Library
– Library of San Fernando
– Huntington Park Library
– Lynwood Library
– Pico Rivera Library
– Sunkist Library
– AC Bilbrew Library
Further information on the programme, addresses and opening times can be found here.
The county’s home testing program
The LA County Home Test Collection program mails home nasal swab test kits to county residents who have COVID-19 symptoms or think they may have been exposed to the virus.
Residents must register on the Picture by Fulgent Genetics website to order a test kit, which will be shipped by FedEx to their home address.
A test kit should arrive in the mail within two days of ordering.
Users must then activate the test online, collect their own sample from their nose, place it in the overnight prepaid envelope, and call FedEx at 1-800-463-3339 to schedule a pickup.
Results are promised within 48 hours of sample receipt at the laboratory.
These test kits are also for immediate use only and samples must be returned within 3-5 days of receipt.
Four free kits from the Biden Administration
Any home in the US can receive four free at-home COVID-19 testing kits, which can be ordered online here.
These tests are different. They are rapid, at-home antigen tests that provide results in 30 minutes and do not need to be taken to a lab.
Tests typically take longer to deliver, with orders typically dispatched within 7-12 days.
Pick up at the pharmacy, have it refunded
Stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart sell rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits that provide results in minutes.
At-home COVID-19 tests available in US stores include Abbott BinaxNOW, Acon FlowFlex, Quidel Quickvue, Ellume and Pixel by LabCorp. Find complete listings of the FDA’s antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests that have been approved for home use.
Tests are either free at the point of sale (if your healthcare plan includes direct coverage) or through reimbursement if you are billed for your test.
Health insurance companies in the US reimburse people for eight home tests a month.
Insurers are required to cover over-the-counter tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022. That means those who purchased kits from a pharmacy on or after that date can call their health insurance provider to ask about reimbursement for testing.
If you are charged, keep your receipt in case you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
Insurance companies must reimburse you at a rate of up to $12 per test (or the cost of the test if it’s under $12).
More information about refunds can be found here.
Have it tested personally
In addition to receiving a test kit to take home, residents can get tested in person at one of the many test sites throughout the county.
Here are the county and city websites where you can find a testing location near you:
You can also use Curative’s map to find a testing location near you and filter it for locations that accept walk-ins.
Many pharmacies also offer rapid PCR and coronavirus tests, including:
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