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Guide to free COVID tests from federal government and sites across the Sacramento region

People can now sign up to get free coronavirus test kits mailed to them. There are many free testing sites across Northern California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Free coronavirus test kits courtesy of the federal government are set to be available for order on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at covidtests.gov.

California and local county testing resources are also more accessible now after weeks of health care staff trying to keep up with increased testing demands.

Here's how you can get a free, or reimbursed, COVID-19 test in-person or straight to your door.

Free Federal Government Testing Kits

Because of expected high demand, each household can only have four tests shipped to their residence.  People can sign up at covidtests.gov.

The White House says “tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering” through the U.S. Postal Service.  

People will need to request the tests well before they meet the guidelines for requiring them since USPS shipping times are at least 1-3 days. The tests should be ordered and kept until somebody in the household starts to feel sick with COVID-like symptoms.

RELATED: USPS ready to deliver COVID-19 home test kits, postmaster general says

California Testing Information

California testing locations can be found at the state's coronavirus resource page HERE.   

People can also get tested by appointment with OptumServe. Tests can be registered HERE or by calling 1-888-634-1123. The state encourages people to get tested if they are in underserved communities or at high risk. This includes the uninsured, undocumented and people who are experiencing homelessness.

Testing Insurance Reimbursement

Private insurers are now be required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home rapid tests per month per insured person, according to a new Biden administration rule.

People have the option of buying tests at a store or online, then seeking reimbursement from their health insurance provider.

Those with public health insurance through Medicare, or without insurance, will be directed to covidtests.gov to order tests or to community health centers in their area offering free testing.

Insurers are not expected to retroactively reimburse the cost of tests purchased earlier.

RELATED: Insurers must now reimburse for at-home COVID tests. But there's a catch.

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Sacramento County

A range of in-person testing sites are available countywide.

For a list of Curative Walk-Up COVID-19 testing sites with no out-of-pocket insurance costs, click HERE. The Cal Expo site is open Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There are at least 15 free walk-up COVID-19 PCR and antigen testing sites spotlighted by Sacramento County. Here is the full list, along with other community testing sites:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • As of now, no sites are open on Sundays.

Placer County

Free COVID-19 testing is available in Truckee, according to the Tahoe Forest Health System, through Curative at the Old Gateway Center at 10990 Donner Pass Road.

Pre-registration can be done here, or by calling 888-634-1123.

Through the same above link, COVID-19 testing appointments can be scheduled at the Maidu Activity Center in Roseville, 1960 Johnson Ranch Dr.

San Joaquin County

San Joaquin County has more than a dozen COVID-19 testing sites across the county. Cities with sites include Stockton, Manteca, Lodi, Tracy and Escalon.

Major testing sites around the county include the Manteca Transit Center, Delta College, San Joaquin General Hospital and County Clinics.

Here is a full list of the testing sites countywide:

Stanislaus County

Through OptumServe, Stanislaus County is offering in-office and drive-thru PCR testing in Turlock, Ceres and Salida. Testing will be open at three locations between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., with two breaks between 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Rube Boesch Center at 275 North Orange St., Turlock. | Sunday - Friday
  • Ceres Unified School District offices at 2491 Lawrence St., Ceres in Annex Meeting Room 2. | Saturday - Thursday (Behind Walter White Elementary School).
  • Salida Library parking lot at 4835 Sisk Rd., Salida. | Monday - Saturday
    (Both drive-thru and in-person patients) (Do not enter library for testing). 

Here is a full list of testing sites in the county through Curative mobile testing vans and in-person PCR tests:

Yolo County

A Yolo County spokesperson said starting Jan. 10, the county will begin distributing free at-home antigen test kits to residents and workers looking to shorten their isolation period to less than 10 days.

The drive-thru antigen test distribution events will be hosted every Monday and Friday from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on 137 N. Cottonwood St., Woodland. Distributions will be hosted continuously until supplies run out.

Free testing through Healthy Davis Together is is available in Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland.  The schedule is at healthydavistogether.org/testing/#schedule.

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