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COVID-19 Testing: Drive-Up Appointments or In-Person Evaluations

COVID-19 testing at UC San Diego

Results in 48 hours. Open to the public and all ages.

Thank you for considering UC San Diego Health for your testing needs. We offer COVID-19 testing for people who:

  • Think they may have COVID-19
  • Are traveling to Hawaii or other destinations
  • Don't have symptoms, but need testing for other reasons

On this page, we can help you:

Compare COVID-19 Testing Options

If you think you have COVID-19, our Urgent Care and Express Care clinics can also evaluate your symptoms and, if warranted, perform 15-minute rapid testing. This type of testing does not include travel documentation.

Here are some testing options:


Hawaii Travel

SMART Health Card QR code + Results

Hawaii Travel

State of Hawaii travel form + results

Travel to All Other Destinations

Test Results Only

No Travel Documents
Results Information
​Valid for Hawaii travel
​Travel letter with personal information and test results included
SMART Health Card QR code included
​Test results provided via MyUCSDChart
​Results available in 48 hours
Testing Information
​Drive-up test
​NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab
​Appointment required
​Credit Card accepted
​Cash acceptedNoNoNoNo
Cost​$65​$125​$125​$65

Schedule Hawaii Test with SMART Health Card QR code Schedule Hawaii Test with State of Hawaii travel form Schedule Travel Test for All Other Destinations Schedule Results Only Test

Hawaii Travel: SMART Health Card QR code + Results

  • Valid for travel to Hawaii only
  • $65 for SMART Health Card QR code + results
  • State of Hawaii travel form not included
  • Results available in 48 hours
  • Drive-up testing by appointment only
  • Payable by credit card only
  • Results provided via MyUCSDChart
  • Schedule no more than 72 hours before flight departure
  • QR code provided to validate Safe Travels Hawaii information
  • NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab
Schedule Hawaii Test with SMART Health Card QR code

Hawaii Travel: State of Hawaii travel form + results

  • Valid for travel to Hawaii only
  • $125 for State of Hawaii travel form + results
  • SMART Health Card QR code not included
  • Results available in 48 hours
  • Drive-up testing by appointment only
  • Payable by credit card only
  • Results provided via MyUCSDChart
  • Schedule no more than 72 hours before flight departure
  • QR code provided to validate Safe Travels Hawaii information
  • NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab
Schedule Hawaii Test with State of Hawaii travel form

Travel to all other destinations

  • Check the testing requirements of your travel destination
  • $125
  • Results available in 48 hours
  • Drive-up testing by appointment only
  • Payable by credit card only
  • Results provided via MyUCSDChart
  • Typically, schedule no more than 72 hours before flight departure. Check the testing requirements of your destination.
  • Travel letter with personal information and test results provided.
  • NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab
Schedule Travel Test for All Other Destinations

Test Results Only (No Travel Documents)

  • Not valid for travel
  • $65
  • Results available in 48 hours
  • Drive-up testing by appointment only
  • Payable by credit card only
  • Results provided via MyUCSDChart
  • NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab
Schedule Results Only Test

COVID-19 Drive-Up Testing Locations


Drive-Up Testing Process

+ Expand All

1. Choosing and scheduling a COVID-19 test that fits your needs

When your test is scheduled, you will get information on the testing location and address. Here's information about how to choose and schedule a COVID-19 test.

 

I’m experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or was exposed.

We recommend visiting Express Care or Urgent Care for symptom evaluation and, if warranted, 15-minute rapid testing. You can save your spot online. You would pay applicable charges or co-pays for the visit, and any COVID-19 testing (if warranted) is billed as part of the visit. If you're not sure whether you need to come in, you can also contact your primary care physician or call us at 800-926-8273. We may also recommend a video visit or drive-up testing with results in 48 hours.

For convenience, you can also schedule online for a test at one of our drive-up locations listed above. Testing at these locations costs $65 or $125, payable by credit card at the test site. Results are typically available within 48 hours. Please see questions below for more information about the testing process, results delivery and follow-up care.

 

I need a test for school or other personal reasons.

You can schedule a test online at one of our drive-up locations listed above. Testing at these locations costs $65, payable by credit card at the test site. Results are typically available within 48 hours. Please see questions below for more information about the testing process, results delivery and follow-up care.

 

I need a test for traveling to Hawaii or another destination.

You can schedule a test online at one of our drive-up locations listed above. The cost of a test to receive a SMART Health Card QR Code is $65, payable by credit card at the test site. The cost of a test to receive a travel form is $125, payable by credit card at the test site. 

Results may take up to 48 hours and can be delivered in the format required by Hawaii state's Safe Travels Hawaii Program or in a general "Fit to Travel" format for other destinations. UC San Diego Health is a trusted travel testing partner for the Safe Travels Hawaii Program. If selected, please note that the test option to receive an official state of Hawaii form for Hawaii travel to be scheduled through MyUCSDChart.

 

As of July 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers may not need COVID-19 testing to travel to Hawaii. For more information on proof of vaccination or to see if your travel group qualifies to opt out of testing, visit the state of Hawaii's pre-travel testing portal.

Although UC San Diego Health also offers testing through other links, only results from tests scheduled through the links above are valid for entry into Hawaii.

2. Arriving at your appointment

Please bring your ID and a credit card to your appointment. Cash is not accepted.

At the testing location, you'll see signs and will pull your car into a large tent. A nurse or other care provider will meet you at your vehicle and perform a nasal swab, which involves collecting a specimen from the "anterior nares" region (the front of your nose, just inside your nostril). 

The specimen is then sent for PCR testing, which can detect an active infection of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

3. Getting your COVID-19 results

Drive-up test results are typically be available within 48 hours. We’ll email you a link to view your test results in your MyUCSDChart account on a computer or a mobile app. If your results are positive, you will also receive a call.

If you don’t have an account, you will be prompted to create a MyUCSDChart account when you schedule a test. Your appointment confirmation email will include a link to create one. For children ages 11 and under, you will receive instructions for the MyUCSDChart account at the testing location.

If you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed, isolate yourself at home and avoid contact with other people while waiting for your results. If your test is positive, a health care professional will call you to follow up with treatment options. Depending on your symptoms and your health plan, this could include a referral to our COVID-19 Telemedicine Clinic.

4. For Hawaii travelers: Upload your testing verification

As of July 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers may not need COVID-19 testing to travel to Hawaii. For more information on proof of vaccination or to see if your travel group qualifies to opt out of testing, visit the state of Hawaii's Safe Travels pre-travel testing website.

As of July 14, travelers testing at UC San Diego Health for travel to Hawaii have two options for testing verification on the Safe Travels Hawaii site:

  1. Travelers can retrieve a SMART Health Card QR code from their MyUCSDChart account to upload to CLEAR or CommonPass to generate a digital health pass.
  2. Or, travelers can retrieve a State of Hawaii travel form from their MyUCSDChart account.

Both the digital health pass and the travel form must be uploaded to the Hawaii Safe Travels site before leaving for your trip.

For instructions on how to use the QR code or get a travel form instead, see the Hawaii Trusted Travel Testing Program section below.


Cost and Insurance

Your COVID-19 test may be covered by insurance, depending on your health plan and whether the test is considered medically necessary. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or suspect you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we recommend saving your spot at an Express Care or Urgent Care clinic, where you pay any applicable co-pay and we bill your insurance for testing as part of your visit.

Test with MyUCSDChart results only — no travel documentation

The cost is $65 for this type of test, payable by credit card only, when you schedule a testing appointment online at a drive-up testing location. 

You will receive results through MyUCSDChart account, but this type of testing does not include any "Fit to Travel" documentation. You will receive a receipt confirming payment, but this will not include the information typically required by health plans to obtain reimbursement, and we are not able to provide this documentation or bill insurance on your behalf at this time.

Test with MyUCSDChart results and travel form

The cost of testing is $65 for results with the SMART Health Card QR code for Hawaii travel or $125 for results with the "Fit to Travel" State of Hawaii form or general form for all other destinations. 

You will receive a receipt confirming payment, but this will not include the information typically required by health plans to obtain reimbursement, and we are not able to provide this documentation or bill insurance on your behalf at this time.


"Fit to Travel" Testing Programs

UC San Diego Health is proud to offer our Fit to Travel testing programs. There are two options to meet your travel testing needs:

Both programs include a COVID-19 PCR test. The Hawaii Trusted Travel Testing program provides a QR code to verify Safe Travels Hawaii information. The general Fit to Travel Testing program provides a results travel form that includes your personal information and your COVID-19 test result. Our lab is CLIA-certified, and our COVID-19 test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT).

If you don't need a results travel form and only require a negative test result, please see if our lower-priced general COVID-19 testing option is right for you. The general COVID-19 test is not applicable for Hawaii travel or Fit to Travel destinations requiring a travel form.

Tips for using travel testing

Review the requirements for your travel destination carefully. It is up to the traveler to provide the required information to their transportation provider and/or destination, hotel and/or tour company.

We recommend you bring a printed copy of your test results with you. Double-check the travel rules for your destination, transportation and accommodations providers, and tour companies to ensure that the COVID-19 testing results you receive meet the requirements.

FAQs: “Fit to Travel” Testing Programs


Scheduling

We are traveling to our destination and are planning to test 72 hours in advance. Does this give us enough time to get results in advance of going to the airport to board our flight?

Results and the Fit to Travel form are available within 48 hours of getting swabbed. It is the traveler's responsibility to retrieve the form with the results.

If traveling to Hawaii, it is also the traveler's responsibility to upload the form to Hawaii state's pre-travel testing portal.

I am a student/employee of UCSD and receive free testing. Can my free test be applied to travel testing?

Hawaii travelers: As of July 14, yes, but only those tested at our five drive-up locations qualify. UC San Diego Health employees receiving testing at Price Center also qualify. Self-administered tests do not currently receive a QR code and do not qualify for Hawaii travel.

All other destination travelers: Unfortunately, not at this time. Due to complexities of the program, anyone traveling to a destination requiring a travel form must schedule through the designated link on this page and pay the $125 fee per test.

I'd like to schedule a test to travel; can someone please call me?

Unfortunately, we do not schedule by phone. You may schedule a test for travel through the buttons in the Compare Testing Options section of this page.

I'd like to schedule a test to travel to Hawaii, but cannot find an available testing slot on the day I need testing. What can I do?

Testing is limited and is subject to availability and the current state of COVID-19. If you do not see any available slots, it means there are no more appointments available for the day you've selected. Please choose another day or you may search other available testing options in San Diego County.

Hawaii travelers: You may search other local available Hawaii testing options on the Hawaii state's travel testing portal.

I live in Oceanside and can only find a travel test on the day I need at your Hillcrest site. Can you switch my test to a drive-up location closer to my house?

Each drive-up testing site has its own limit of COVID-19 tests and Fit to Travel tests; therefore we are unable to move available testing between sites.

We are traveling to Bora Bora and/or Tahiti; are you a trusted travel partner site for testing to travel to those locations?

We are currently a trusted travel testing partner for only Hawaii, and not for any other travel locations.


At the Testing Appointment

My family and I have scheduled individual tests at the same time for travel to Hawaii. Can we show up for testing in the same car?

Yes, you may share the same car for testing, but each individual must have his or her own prescheduled appointment in order to be tested.


Results and Documentation

I received my travel testing results, but did not receive my travel form or QR code. What should I do?

Your travel form or QR code may not arrive concurrently with your results, but will be delivered within 48 hours. If you have not received your results or travel letter in your MyUCSDChart account and it's been 48 hours, please call 619-543-7108 or email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within 1 business day.

If I have recovered from COVID-19 but still test positive for the virus, do I still have to quarantine?

Fit to Travel program: There may be an exemption for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. Check the requirements of your travel destination.

Hawaii testing program: There is an exemption for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. To be considered for this exemption, you must upload:

  1. A copy of your positive COVID-19 test result (no more than 90 days and no less than 11 days from departure date)
  2. A signed letter from your medical provider

You can be referred to our COVID-19 telehealth clinic for an appointment with an infectious diseases specialist to assist with this if your primary medical provider is unable to do so. Learn more from the COVID Telemedicine Clinic page.

If I test positive for COVID-19 but I am asymptomatic, can I be retested immediately?

No, you cannot receive another test through the Hawaii travel program for at least 10 days following the positive test.

It has been 32 hours since I got swabbed; should I call to check on my results?

Please do not reach out until it has been a full 48 hours without receiving both your result and state of Hawaii travel QR code or All Other Destinations Fit to Travel form. We handle calls from multiple people, including sick and surgical patients, and need to keep our phone lines open for urgent calls related to patients as much as possible.

If it has been 48 hours and/or you've received your letter and have questions about your results or QR code, please contact us on our results line at 619-543-7108. We are available 7 days a week, between the hours of 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Or, email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within 1 business day.

My travel destination requires customized information. Can UC San Diego Health provide customized forms?

In general, no. We can only accommodate a request for the passport number to be added to the form. Please contact us on our results line at 619-543-7108. We are available 7 days a week, between the hours of 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Or, email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within 1 business day.

I'm fully vaccinated and my travel destination accepts a digital proof of full vaccination in lieu of testing. How do I find my digital vaccine record?

If you are a patient of UC San Diego Health or were vaccinated at one of our vaccination locations and set up a MyUCSDChart account, see COVID-19 Vaccine Information for instructions on accessing your digital vaccine record through MyUCSDChart. 

If you were vaccinated by another provider, check its website, or visit the California state's COVID-19 vaccine record website to download your digital vaccine record.

Both the state of California and UC San Diego Health use the SMART Health vaccine record and QR code application. Not all destinations may have the compatible QR code reader technology. Please check your destination requirements before traveling. It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure that any vaccination or testing requirements have been met.

Do you provide a separate CLIA certificate to travelers requesting it?

No, we are unable to provide a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate.


Hawaii Trusted Travel Testing Program

UC San Diego Health is proud to be a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner for Hawaii state's Safe Travels Hawaii Program. Our lab is CLIA-certified, and our COVID-19 test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), as required by the Safe Travel Hawaii Program. We offer drive-up testing at five convenient sites in San Diego County, with results available within 48 hours.

As of July 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers may not need COVID-19 testing to travel to Hawaii. For more information on proof of vaccination or to see if your travel group qualifies to opt out of testing, visit the state of Hawaii's Safe Travels Hawaii Website.

As of July 14, travelers testing with UC San Diego Health for travel to Hawaii have two options for testing verification on the Hawaii Safe Travels site:

  1. Travelers can retrieve a SMART Health Card QR code from their MyUCSDChart account to upload to CLEAR or CommonPass to generate a digital health pass. ($65)
  2. Or, travelers can retrieve a state of Hawaii travel form. ($125)

Both the digital health pass and the travel form must be uploaded to the state of Hawaii Safe Travels site before leaving for your trip.

How to get a travel form instead of a QR code

  1. Schedule through the Hawaii test link on this page.
  2. Let our team at the testing site know you scheduled a test with a travel form.
  3. You will be charged $125 at time of testing and we'll send you your travel form within 48 hours via MyUCSDChart. If you do not have a MyUCSDChart account, please create one as soon as you receive your testing confirmation email (link to set up is in the body of the confirmation email).

How to use your QR code*

  1. Access your QR codes in your MyUCSDChart app.
  2. In the menu, click on “COVID-19” to access QR code retrieval options .
  3. Create a digital health pass using your QR codes or exported SMART Health Card from the MyUCSDChart app. Hawaii state's Digital Health Pass partners are CLEAR and CommonPass.
  4. Create a trip on the Hawaii Safe Travels site and upload your health pass for verification.

*MyUCSDChart QR code(s) may not be able to be read by airlines' QR code readers, the state of Hawaii site or other travel providers. You must create a health pass through CommonPass or CLEAR or your travel may be delayed. More details for the Hawaii Safe Travels vaccine and testing travel verification process can be found on the State of Hawaii Safe Travels site.


FAQs: Hawaii Trusted Travel Testing Program

How do I request an exemption from mandatory quarantine in Hawaii if I have already received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Please visit Hawaii's Travel Quarantine Exemption Request page for information and instructions on the exemption process.

We are traveling to Hawaii and are planning to test 72 hours in advance of flying out per Hawaii's requirement. Does this give us enough time to get results in advance of going to the airport to board our flight?

Results and the Hawaii travel QR code are available within 48 hours of getting swabbed. It is the traveler's responsibility to retrieve the QR code with the test result and upload it to the Hawaii pre-travel testing portal. The QR code is in your MyUCSDChart account under "COVID-19".

How do I upload my results QR code to the State of Hawaii website?

Check out the Safe Travels Hawaii Program Help page for questions about uploading to its site. If you need assistance with logging in or any technical issues, call the Safe Travels Hawaii Program at 800-GoHawaii (800-464-2924) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Domestic and international calls are accepted.

Which travel provider can read the SMART Health Card QR codes for vaccine and testing?

The only travel providers we know that can read the QR codes are CommonPass and CLEAR, which is how you will generate a digital health pass to use for Hawaii state's travel verification. This is a critical step in the process. See a diagram of the overall process

By not exporting the QR code to CommonPass or CLEAR , your travel may be delayed. If using CommonPass, see detailed instructions on using the CommonPass app.

Does Hawaii have any requirements for transferring flights? I will depart to Honolulu at 1 p.m. from LAX and transfer from Honolulu to Maui at 7 p.m. Do I need valid 72-hour results from 1 p.m. or 7 p.m.?

Please check the state of Hawaii requirements or call at 800-GOHAWAI (800-464-2924) to confirm. It's up to the traveler to select the appropriate time to test based on current travel requirements.

I tested before July 14, but received my test result and form after July 14; can I get a refund for the difference between $125 and $65?

There are no retroactive refunds available. Only those who were tested on July 14 or after are eligible to receive the lower rate as they will only receive a QR code and no form.


Questions about our Hawaii Trusted Travel Testing Program?

If you have been unable to upload your test result to your Safe Travels Application or your status has not been updated after 48 hours from the time of submission, please call the help line at 800-GOHAWAI (800-464-2924). For more information, visit: 

"Fit to Travel" Testing Program — All Other Destinations

If your travel destination requires more than just a negative COVID-19 test, this may be the testing program for you.
Fit to Travel Testing is for all destinations (non-Hawaii travel) requiring a results travel form (see example form). The form includes:
  • Official UC San Diego Health logo
  • Information about our lab
  • Personal information
  • COVID-19 test results

Some destinations may request customized information — please contact us at 619-543-7108 to see if we were able to add your request to a results travel form. Or, email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within 1 business day.

Please note: We may not be able to accommodate all requests. If you need a customized results travel form, please call us before scheduling your test.

Questions about Fit to Travel Testing program for all other destinations?

FAQs: COVID-19 Testing at UC San Diego Health

Can COVID-19 test results be used for travel?

We encourage you to closely check the testing requirements of your destination before traveling. 

We are a trusted partner for the Safe Travels Hawaii program. Please note that the state of Hawaii and other travel testing require special documentation, so tests for travel must be scheduled through the buttons in the Compare Testing Options section of this page.

The cost of testing and additional documentation for Hawaii and other travel varies from $65 to $125, payable by credit card at the test site. Your test results and any required digital or PDF travel results will be delivered within 48 hours. (They may not both appear in your MyUCSDChart account at the same time, but they will both be delivered within 48 hours.)

Although our general Fit for Travel Testing documentation may be suitable for other destinations, we are not a trusted partner for Bora Bora, Tahiti or any destination other than Hawaii. It is the traveler's responsibility to schedule any testing at the appropriate time and through an approved testing provider.

Note: As of July 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers may not need COVID-19 testing to travel to Hawaii. For more information on proof of vaccination or to see if your travel group qualifies to opt out of testing, visit the state of Hawaii's Safe Travels Hawaii Website.

Do I need an appointment?

Drive-up testing and all travel testing is by appointment only. 

Our Urgent Care and Express Clinics accept walk-in patients or you can save your spot online for other testing.

I'm not sure if I need the test with MyUCSDChart results only ($65) or the test with MyUCSDChart results and travel form ($125). Can I see an example?

See an example of the MyUCSDChart result. For travel purposes, if you need any information beyond a result, you will likely need to schedule our Fit for Travel test. See Fit for Travel Testing to learn more and see an example.

How and when will I get my COVID-19 test results?

Drive-up test results are typically available within 48 hours, and we’ll email you a link to view them in your MyUCSDChart account on a computer or a mobile app. If you don’t have an account, you will be prompted to create a MyUCSDChart account when you schedule a test. For children ages 11 and under, you will receive instructions for the MyUCSDChart account at the testing location.

If you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed, isolate yourself at home and avoid contact with other people while waiting for your results. If your test is positive, a health care professional will also call you to follow up with treatment options. Depending on your symptoms and your health plan, this could include a referral to our COVID-19 Telemedicine Clinic.

Will my test results really be ready within 48 hours?

Yes, your COVID-19 test results are available within 48 hours. In rare instances, we may return a result later because of an unanticipated lab delay. However, if your test is for travel purposes, we recommend scheduling your test 72 hours before travel times.

Do you offer COVID-19 testing for kids?

Yes. There are no age restrictions for testing. However, a parent or legal guardian must schedule the test for all minors. Those who are ages 15 and under must be accompanied during testing by a parent or legal guardian, who may need to help with sample collection using a nasal swab.

What is the drive-up testing process like?

When your test is scheduled, you will get information on the testing location and address. 

At the testing location, you'll see signs and will pull your car into a large tent. A nurse or other care provider will meet you at your vehicle and perform a nasal swab, which involves collecting a specimen from the "anterior nares" region (the front of your nose, just inside your nostril). The specimen is then sent for PCR testing, which can detect an active infection of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

How can I print the MyUCSDChart test results?

Please use the web version of MyUCSDChart rather than the MyUCSDHealth app.

  • Go to the Menu, then select "Test Results" under "My Record"
  • Check the results named "COVID-19 Coronavirus Detection Assay at UCSD Labs."
  • Click the printer icon at the upper right for a printer-friendly page.

Is UC San Diego Health offering antibody testing in San Diego County?

We have the ability to perform antibody testing for infection. We currently conduct those tests for our front-line health care workers as well as our patients as recommended by their providers. 

If you think you need antibody testing, please discuss it with your health care provider.

What is the difference between PCR and antibody testing?

A PCR test is a diagnostic test that checks for an active infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

An antibody test is designed to tell if you’ve ever had COVID-19. Antibody tests are useful for understanding how many people in our community have been exposed to the virus already. Here's how the testing is done:

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing uses a nasal or oral swab to detect the virus itself and indicates an active infection or a very recent infection. If you are having symptoms of active infection, such as cough and fever, the PCR test can be used to detect the virus and diagnose COVID-19.
  • Antibody testing (or serology testing) is a blood test that looks for a person's immune response to the virus. Antibodies are proteins made by the body to fight off viruses and other pathogens that cause infections. If antibodies are found after testing, this suggests you have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, even if you were asymptomatic and didn’t have any symptoms. The antibody test gives information about prior COVID-19 exposures, and is more useful after symptoms have resolved.