Last update: 2023-05-24
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 testing.
- Can I go to Sharp for a COVID-19 test?
- What are community resources for testing?
- Can I get tested at a Sharp emergency department or Sharp Rees-Stealy urgent care?
- Is there a fee for COVID-19 screening or testing?
- Can I take an at-home test?
- Will my health plan cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests?
- How do I request documentation of my COVID-19 test results from a Sharp location?
Can I go to Sharp for a COVID-19 test?
Not all patients who request a test will be tested for coronavirus. To determine who should be tested, Sharp follows the guidelines and criteria set forth by the CDC and California Department of Public Health.
If you do not have COVID symptoms, have not had an exposure, or are under the age of 65 with no underlying health issues, please visit a County of San Diego testing location or consult other community resources for testing options.
If you need to be tested due to a confirmed exposure, please contact your primary care doctor or visit one of these options offered by our community and health care partners to be tested sooner.
If your doctor orders a COVID-19 test, you will receive instructions on where to go and one of our caregivers will take a nasal swab and send it to a Sharp laboratory. In some cases, you will be instructed to self-test under the guidance of a caregiver.
If the sample is positive, Sharp will notify Public Health Services and a care plan will be determined.
We encourage you to use FollowMyHealth® or the patient portal your doctor uses to communicate with your providers and learn your test results.
What are community resources for testing?
Free tests and walk-in tests are available through the following community and health care partners:
- County of San Diego
- Cal State University, San Marcos
- Logistic Health Incorporated
- Quest Diagnostics
- Sameday Health
Some school districts are offering COVID-19 testing sites for students, teachers and staff. Check with your district for specific testing site details. Learn about testing options for San Diego Unified School District.
Can I get tested at a Sharp emergency department or Sharp Rees-Stealy urgent care?
If you need a COVID-19 test and don’t require medical care, walk-in testing sites are available across San Diego County. Find a COVID-19 testing site.
If you are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms or are concerned you were exposed to someone with coronavirus, contact your primary care team, who will recommend the best next step for you. The fastest way to communicate with your Sharp Rees-Stealy doctor’s office is through FollowMyHealth.
Patients experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms can also schedule a virtual urgent care visit. Please do not visit a Sharp Rees-Stealy urgent care location for a COVID-19 test without first speaking with your primary care team.
While COVID-19 tests are free, you are responsible for the cost of any ER or urgent care visit.
For children with symptoms, please contact your Sharp Rees-Stealy physician. If your child has been exposed but is not experiencing symptoms, follow their school district’s directions regarding testing.
Call 911 if you think you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Is there a fee for COVID-19 screening or testing at Sharp?
The California Department of Managed Health Care directed all commercial health plans and Medi-Cal health plans to cover the cost for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This includes waiving the member's share of costs for the emergency room, urgent care or visits with a doctor.
In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has directed that Medicare Part B will cover all medically necessary COVID-19 testing only. Patients with Medicare Part B plans are still responsible for emergency, urgent care or doctor's office visit fees, even if related to COVID-19.
If you do not have health insurance and you have a doctor’s order for a COVID-19 test, you can get tested at a Sharp laboratory for $104 or get an antibody test for $55.
Can I take an at-home test?
Home self-test kits are considered to be as accurate as antigen rapid tests and can be purchased at some pharmacies. They are easy to use and provide results in approximately 15 minutes. However, PCR tests — provided at most COVID-19 testing sites — are considered the most accurate test to determine an active infection.
Will my health plan cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests?
Health plans are required to cover a limited number of at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at no cost to members either directly at the point of sale or through member reimbursement. This is not applicable for Medicare members at this time. Please visit your health plan’s website to learn more about your coverage.
If you are enrolled in benefits with Sharp Health Plan, visit their COVID-19 resource center to learn more.
How do I request documentation of my COVID-19 test results from a Sharp location?
The easiest way to access documentation of your COVID-19 test results is through FollowMyHealth. You can also request your hospital or Sharp Rees-Stealy COVID-19 test results.
Read the fact sheet about the COVID-19 test you received.
Expert advice on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Local COVID-19 health emergency declaration ends
The county’s response to COVID — surveillance, testing, treating and vaccinating — will continue, and residents are still encouraged to get vaccinated.
‘Kraken’ COVID subvariant leads to cases across the U.S.
Called the “Kraken” COVID subvariant by some, XBB.1.5 is leading to increased cases of COVID-19 throughout the U.S.
Recovering from a COVID-19 pneumonia diagnosis
A San Diego woman no longer requires oxygen after going through Sharp’s COVID-19 Recovery Program.