How the COVID-19 testing process works
Results are usually available in 1-2 days but may occasionally take longer.
Once you have registered for an appointment, you will receive a QR Code that you can print or store on your smartphone. Please bring this with you to your appointment.
Please stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids 1 hour before your appointment. Then in the 30 minutes before your test, do not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke. Everyone will be required to follow county guidelines at the screening location, including wearing a mask or face covering and maintaining physical distancing.
At the Screening Station:
You will be asked to sanitize your hands and provide your appointment QR code at a registration table. You will receive a straw, a pipette bulb with purified water, and a vial with a barcode. Then you’ll follow this seven-step process, as seen in this video.
- Once asked, remove the cap from the vial and place it in the provided tray. Don’t lose the cap.
- Tip the water from the pipette bulb into your mouth and gently swirl it around (do not gargle).
- Place the straw in the vial but be careful not to push the straw so far that it creates a seal.
- Place your lips on the straw and push saliva through the straw into the vial.
- After filling the vial a little more than halfway, remove the straw and place it in the tray.
- Securely place the cap back on the vial and place the vial into the container.
- The attendant will take your sample. Sanitize your hands and exit.
It is expected that an appointment will take no more than 5-15 minutes.
After your sample is collected, it will be securely transported to the CLIA-approved laboratory at the UC Davis Genome Center which will conduct a very sensitive molecular test for COVID on the sample you provided. This test meets all FDA requirements for a screening test.