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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. Appointment required.

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

Which Test Is Right for Me?

If you think you could have COVID-19:

  • Testing at an Express Care or Urgent Care clinic (for our patients and the public): You can visit an Urgent Care or Express Care clinic where a UC San Diego Health provider will evaluate your symptoms and decide whether you need a 15-minute rapid test and/or a PCR test with results in 48 hours. Typically, there’s no cost to you when we bill your insurance. However, you may be responsible for any co-pays and other charges, based on your insurance plan.
  • Testing after contacting your PCP (for our patients only): If you're a UC San Diego Health patient, you can also contact your primary care physician or call us at 800-926-8273. We may recommend a video visit or drive-up PCR testing with results in 48 hours. Typically, there’s no cost to you when we bill your insurance. However, you may be responsible for any co-pays and other charges, based on your insurance plan.

We can help you:

If you need a COVID-19 test for travel, school or other personal reasons:

  • Asymptomatic testing (for our patients and the public): If you don't have COVID-19 symptoms, but need a test for travel, school, events or other personal reasons, you can schedule a drive-up PCR test at your convenience at one of our five locations. Self-scheduled COVID-19 tests require payment by credit card or debit card. These asymptomatic tests are not covered by insurance. See pricing and scheduling links below.

Here are some resources to help with the asymptomatic testing process:

Compare Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Options



Hawaii Travel

SMART Health Card QR code + results

Hawaii Travel

State of Hawaii travel form + results

Travel to Other Destinations

Travel form + results

Test Results Only

No travel documents
Results Information
​Valid for Hawaii travel Yes Yes No No
​Travel letter with personal information and test results included
No Yes No
SMART Health Card QR code included
Yes No No No
​Test results provided via MyUCSDChart
Yes Yes Yes Yes
​Results available in 48 hours Yes Yes Yes Yes
Testing Information
​Drive-up test
Yes Yes Yes Yes
​NAAT RT-PCR test via a nasal swab Yes Yes Yes Yes
​Appointment required
Yes Yes Yes Yes
​Credit card accepted Yes Yes Yes Yes
​Cash accepted No No No No
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 Other Destinations Schedule Results-Only Test

Hawaii Travel: SMART Health Card QR code + Results

  • Valid for travel to Hawaii only
  • $65
  • 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, QR code + results

  • Valid for travel to Hawaii only
  • $125
  • State of Hawaii travel form, SMART Health Card QR code + results
  • 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 other destinations

  • Check the testing requirements of your travel providers
  • $125
  • Travel form, SMART Health Card QR code + results
  • Travel form is not valid for travel to Hawaii
  • 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 Other Destinations

Test Results Only (No Travel Documents)

  • Not valid for travel
  • $65
  • SMART Health Card QR code + results
  • 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

Asymptomatic testing is by appointment only and is conducted under the tents in our parking lots.

  1. Eastlake / Chula Vista: Parking lot near our clinic at 2295 Otay Lakes Road, Suite 110, Chula Vista, CA 91915
  2. Encinitas: Parking lot on the east side of our clinic at 1505 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024
  3. Hillcrest: Parking lot across from our Medical Offices South clinic at 4168 Front St., San Diego, CA 92103
  4. La Jolla: Parking lot on campus at 9331 Athena Circle, La Jolla, CA 92037
  5. Rancho Bernardo: Parking lot near our clinic at 16950 Via Tazon, San Diego, CA 92127

Drive-Up Testing Process and Getting Your Results

After you schedule a COVID-19 test, you'll receive a confirmation email with the testing location address and instructions.

Arriving at Your Appointment

  • Please bring your ID.
  • For self-scheduled tests, payment is due at the site. Please bring a credit card or debit card to your appointment. Cash is not accepted at the drive-up testing sites.
  • 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 collected is then sent for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing, which can detect if you have an active infection of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Getting Your COVID-19 Test Results

Your COVID-19 test results and SMART Health Card QR code will be available within 48 hours in your MyUCSDChart account. In rare instances, a result may be late because of an unanticipated lab delay. However, if your test is for travel purposes, we recommend scheduling your test within 48 to 72 hours of your travel time, depending on what your destination requires. It's your responsibility to check the rules of your travel providers.

  • Test results: We’ll email you a link to view your test results in your MyUCSDChart account on a computer or a mobile app. Log into your account and go to Menu. Under the My Record section, click COVID-19 to view your test results. If your results are positive, you will also receive a call with information about next steps. (See an example of MyUCSDChart test result.)
    • If you don’t have a MyUCSDChart account, you will be prompted to create it when you schedule a test. Your appointment confirmation email will include a link to create an account. For children ages 11 and under, you will receive instructions for the MyUCSDChart account at the testing location.
  • QR code: Through MyUCSDChart, you can also access a SMART Health Card QR code that can be read by participating organizations and provide verification of your test results. Log into your account, go to Menu and under the My Record section, click COVID-19. Select QR codes to generate a QR code or select Download/Export to generate a PDF copy of your results. (See an example of SMART Health Card QR code.)
  • Travel form: If you got a test with a travel form, you can retrieve the travel form through MyUCSDChart. Log into your account and go to Menu. Under the Communication section, select Letters to see your travel form. (See examples of a travel form for Hawaii state and a travel form for other destinations.)

Note: If you are experiencing COVID-19 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.


COVID-19 Testing Cost and Insurance

If you have COVID-19 symptoms: When testing takes place during a medical appointment or it's recommended and approved by one of our providers, there’s typically no cost to you when we bill your insurance. However, you may be responsible for any co-pays and other charges, based on your insurance plan.

Asymptomatic testing: Any COVID-19 tests that you self-schedule at our drive-through locations for convenience, travel, events or other personal reasons will not be covered by insurance — and we are not able to bill insurance on your behalf. You will receive a receipt confirming payment, but it doesn't include the information or documentation typically required by health plans to obtain reimbursement.

  • Testing with results and QR code (no travel documentation) costs $65. 
  • Travel testing costs either $65 or $125 for Hawaii (depending on the type of documentation) and $125 for other destinations.

See detailed information on travel testing below, or compare testing options and schedule a test.


COVID-19 Travel Tests from UC San Diego Health

Our "Fit to Travel" COVID-19 PCR tests can be used for Hawaii travel and travel to other destinations. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that our testing is accepted by your destination and to schedule testing so that results are received prior to departure. Some pre-travel tips:

  • Double-check the rules carefully for your travel destination and any stops along your journey to ensure that your COVID-19 test results meet their requirements. It's your responsibility to provide the required information to your airlines and other transportation providers and/or destination, hotel or tour company.
  • We recommend you bring a printed copy of your test results while traveling.

1) Hawaii Trusted Travel Program tests – $65 or $125

UC San Diego Health is a trusted testing partner for the state of Hawaii'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 Travels program.

You can schedule a Hawaii test online at one of our five convenient drive-up locations in San Diego County. It costs $65 to receive test results with a SMART Health Card QR Code and $125 for test results with a travel form — either format is acceptable for verification for the Safe Travels Hawaii program, but the process is different. (View examples of a Hawaii travel form and a SMART Health Card QR Code.)

  • The $125 (more expensive) test with a travel form lets you go straight to the Hawaii state website to upload your form for verification.
  • With the $65 (less expensive) test that does not include a travel form, Hawaii requires you to take additional steps to verify the results through its partner sites. (To help you decide between the two tests, look at the steps involved in verifying and using your QR code.)

The results and the QR code or travel form may not both appear at the same time in your MyUCSDChart account, but they will both be delivered within 48 hours. You will need to create a Safe Travels Hawaii account and upload the results for verification before your flight departure.

Fully vaccinated travelers may not need COVID-19 testing to travel to Hawaii. For more information on proof of vaccination or to see if you qualify to opt out of testing, visit the Safe Travels Hawaii website.

Uploading Your COVID-19 Testing Verification for Hawaii Travel

You have two options for testing verification for Hawaii travel — upload either a travel form or a digital health pass (generated by a SMART Health Card QR code from the test results) to the Safe Travels Hawaii site before leaving for your trip.

  • Travel form: You can schedule a $125 Hawaii travel test and retrieve a Hawaii state travel form with your test results from your MyUCSDChart account. Let our team at the testing site know you scheduled a test with a travel form. Then upload your results to your Safe Travels Hawaii account.
  • Digital health pass: You can schedule a $65 Hawaii travel test and retrieve your test results and a SMART Health Card QR code from your MyUCSDChart account to upload to CLEAR or CommonPass (Hawaii's verification partners) to generate a digital health pass. (See a diagram of the process and examples of the Clear health pass and the CommonPass health pass).
    Here's how to access your QR codes in your MyUCSDChart account:
    • Log into MyUCSDChart or open the MyUCSDHealth app on a smartphone or tablet and select MyUCSDChart.
    • Go to the Menu, then the My Record section and select COVID-19.
    • Create a digital health pass using your QR codes or exported SMART Health Card.
    • Then create a trip on the Hawaii Safe Travels site and upload your health pass for verification.

Note: 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.

For more details for Hawaii's vaccine and testing travel verification processor if you have technical problems with uploading your documents, call the Safe Travels Hawaii Program at 800-464-2924 or visit:

2) Travel Testing for Other Destinations – $125

If your travel destination and providers require more than just a negative COVID-19 test, this may be the testing program for you. This $125 test is intended for destinations (other than Hawaii) that require a travel form with your results and your personal information. (See example of the travel form for other destinations, except Hawaii.) It also comes with a SMART Health Card QR code.

It's the responsibility of the traveler to schedule testing so that results are received prior to departure, and that they meet the rules for the travel destination and any connecting stops, airlines, hotel or tour company.

You can schedule a $125 general travel test online at one of our five convenient drive-up testing locations in San Diego County. Results will be available in 48 hours. The travel form includes:

  • Official UC San Diego Health logo
  • Information about our lab
  • Your personal information, including date of birth
  • Your COVID-19 test results

Customized results travel form: Some destinations may require customized information with test results, such as adding a passport number. If you need a customized results travel form, please contact us before scheduling your test. We may not be able to accommodate all requests. For customizing your information, you can call 619-543-7108 — we are available 7 days a week, 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Or email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within one business day.


FAQs: COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing at UC San Diego Health

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Scheduling and Appointments

Do I need an appointment for a COVID-19 test? Can I schedule a test by phone?

Yes, you must have an appointment for COVID-19 testing for travel at UC San Diego Health. But we do not schedule COVID-19 tests by phone. You can compare testing options and self-schedule a test at your convenience.

Can you switch my test appointment to a different drive-up location?

We recommend that you check to see if an appointment is available at your preferred location. If so, cancel your previous appointment and make a new appointment using the scheduling links from the Compare Testing Options section.

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.

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 person must have his or her own prescheduled appointment in order to be tested.

I'm not sure which type of COVID-19 test results or travel form I need. Can I see an example?

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

The results and the travel form are typically available within 48 hours of getting tested. It is your responsibility to retrieve the travel form with the results in time before your departure.

If traveling to Hawaii, it is also your responsibility to upload the relevant documents to Hawaii state's Safe Travels site before your departure.

Does Hawaii have any testing requirements for transferring flights? I depart to Honolulu at 1 p.m. from Los Angeles 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 Hawaii state's requirements or call 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'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 current COVID-19 cases. If you do not see any available slots for the day you've selected, it means there are no more appointments available. Please choose another day.

Or you may search for other testing options in San Diego County via Hawaii's pre-travel testing portal.

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

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

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

Hawaii travelers: Yes, but only for those tested at our five drive-up locations qualify. UC San Diego Health employees who test at Price Center in La Jolla also qualify. People who use self-administered tests do not receive a QR code and do not qualify for Hawaii travel.

Travelers to other destinations: Not at this time. Due to the complexities of the program, anyone traveling to a destination requiring a travel form must schedule through the designated travel test link and pay a fee of $125.


Results and Documentation

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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 the My Record section and select Test Results.
  • 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.

It has been 32 hours since I was tested. 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 test result and the Hawaii travel QR code or the general travel form for other destinations — they may arrive separately. We handle calls from multiple people, including sick and surgical patients, and need to keep our phone lines open for urgent patient calls as much as possible.

If it has been 48 hours and you still have not received your results or travel letter and/or you've received your letter and have questions about your results or QR code, please call 619-543-7108. We are available 7 days a week, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. Or email us at UCSDTravelTesting@health.ucsd.edu. Emails will be answered within one business day.

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

If you are a UC San Diego Health patient or were vaccinated at one of our vaccination locations and set up a MyUCSDChart account, see how to access 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 travel destinations may have 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.