Testing is recommended if:
- If you are feeling any symptoms – regardless of your vaccination status. COVID-19 symptoms can feel like a common cold, seasonal allergies, or flu. COVID testing in California is free to anyone who needs it.
- If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, get tested right away. If you test negative, retest 5-7 days after your exposure date. Those who are unvaccinated should also test 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after any high-risk events.
- If you were fully vaccinated when exposed, you should get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone who has recently tested positive.
- If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months and have had no new symptoms since your recent exposure, you do not need to get tested.
- Read the California Department of Public Health’s full testing guidance. (Your school or workplace may have their own testing requirements.)
Testing alone will not stop the spread of COVID-19. The best way to lower your risk of getting COVID-19 is to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to continue practicing everyday prevention. This includes wearing a mask that covers both your nose and mouth in high-risk settings, and staying home when you are sick. Visit the CDC Testing Page and https://covid19.ca.gov/get-tested/ for more information about COVID-19 testing.