Who Can Get Tested?

Due to increased testing capacity, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is encouraging the following to get tested:

  • All symptomatic and asymptomatic persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19

Where can I get tested? 

Individuals with Covid-19 Symptoms

  • If you’re sick and need medical care, call your doctor or nearest Urgent Care.   Your physician will determine if testing is neccessary.
  • If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.
  • People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Possible symptoms include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. 

  • If you develop a fever while home, contact your doctor to determine if you need to be tested and stay home until:
    • at least 24 hours after fever has resolved,* AND
    • respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath have improved, AND
    • at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. 

Note: Fever is not considered to be “resolved” if you’re still using fever-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®).

 

For Those Who Have Been Exposed

  • If you have been notified of a Covid-19 exposure by a Public Health Contact Tracer, they will provide information and directions on next steps you should take, including how to quarantine. 
  • Ensure you are strictly following standard precautions such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands frequently.  
  • Contact Tracers use specific criteria to determine who was exposed.  Following standard precautions of wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing reduces your chance of being exposed. 

At Home Testing

These at-home kits are an option if you do not want to get tested at a clinic: 

Antibody Testing

  • While antibody testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not currently available by the San Luis Obispo County Public Health lab, local health officials say SLO County is positioning itself to have the tests when FDA approved tests become available to California. 
    • Local labs may be offering antibody testing, but the accuracy of these tests can't be confirmed.
  • There are two different types of tests for COVID-19. One is a nasal swab test currently available in SLO County that can detect whether a person currently has the virus that causes COVID-19. The other is an antibody blood test, which can detect whether a person has previously had the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Antibody testing, which is also often called serologic testing or immunity testing, can reveal whether a person’s immune system has mounted a response to the virus.
  • “We are eager to get a reliable antibody test to know if large numbers of community residents previously had the virus,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Right now, we (the county) can only test whether a person currently has the virus.”
  • When tests are found to be effective and reliable, they will be more widely available including in SLO County. 

State Guidance on serology testing 

Important Notes

  • We have broadened our clinical criteria to increase the number of individuals who should be considered appropriate for testing, and we encourage other healthcare providers to do the same.  
  • Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Department no longer requires screening for other viral respiratory illnesses prior to testing for COVID-19.  
  • Priority groups for testing include: all local healthcare workers, first responders and emergency workers, and higher risk individuals including seniors and those with underlying conditions. 
  • Health clinicians do not need to consult the Public Health Department before gathering and submitting specimens. 
  • Again, if you are sick and presenting even mild symptoms, please get tested for COVID-19.