A new COVID-19 testing site is currently offering free tests in front of Capitol Drugs in West Hollywood, at 8578 Santa Monica Boulevard. FreeCovidTest.com is offering same day results for the next several weeks, possibly months, until the government grant funding it runs out. The testing site will open regular business hours during the week and on weekends. Walk-ups are welcome.
The testing site offers PCR Molecular Testing, also called a molecular test. This COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In this case, a fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into the back of your throat (oropharyngeal swab), or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. Results may be available in minutes if analyzed onsite or a few days — or longer in locations with test processing delays — if sent to an outside lab. PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a health care professional, but the rapid test can miss some cases.
The testing process is in four easy steps:
- Book an Appointment (walk-ins scan the bar code, answer a few questions and wait for a confirmation email which takes minutes with bar code for the COVID test).
- On the day of your test, bring your insurance card (if you have one) and ID with you. The test is free regardless of insurance status.
- A technician will check your documents and collect your sample. This is a saliva test. You cough into your arm, and rub a swab on your cheeks, roof and bottom of your mouth for 10 seconds in each area. The whole test takes 5 minutes. A you’re done.
- You get your results just check your email. PCR results are sent via email or phone call usually the same day or within 24 hours.
According to a technician on site, the free COVID-19 testing station is not affiliated with Capitol Drugs, but they allowed them to set up in front of the pharmacy to get customers and walking traffic tested.