County health centers (two locations)
Santa Cruz: 1080 Emeline Ave.
Watsonville: 1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite D
Testing at the Watsonville and Santa Cruz county health centers is only available for registered patients, most of whom are on Medi-Cal, Medicare or are uninsured. To make an appointment, call your clinic’s main line.
After a phone screening, the clinician will schedule a drive-thru swab test or, in some cases, an in-person appointment (for more serious symptoms).
Test results are typically available within 72 hours, and will be communicated via phone call and online patient portal. This testing site highly recommends that anyone tested self-isolate until they receive a negative test result.
Cost: Varies for self-pay customers. This site has sliding scale pricing that’s determined based on a patient’s ability to pay.
Doctors on Duty (multiple locations)
Aptos: 6800 Soquel Drive
Santa Cruz: 615 Ocean St.
Watsonville: 1505 Main St.
To make an appointment: Call the testing site’s main line or visit doctorsonduty.com/locations to schedule a telemedicine consultation. A physician will screen you for symptoms and decide whether or not you should have a COVID-19 test. New Doctors on Duty patients are required to register — have photo ID, insurance cards and contact information on hand — before the appointment.
This testing site offers rapid testing (results in 15 to 20 minutes) and standard PCR testing, for which results take three to five business days. Patients will receive a phone call with test results.
Cost: $314+ (out-of-pocket) for consultation and test; varies based on health insurance coverage.
Kaiser Permanente (two locations)
Scotts Valley: 5615 Scotts Valley Drive
Watsonville: 1931 Main St.
Kaiser Permanente offers free diagnostic COVID-19 testing to members under its health plan. Kaiser patients can make an appointment by calling their primary care physician or by visiting kp.org.
Sutter Health/PAMF (two locations)
Santa Cruz: 2025 Soquel Ave.
Watsonville: 550 S. Green Valley Road
Testing here is mainly for patients who’ve been exposed to a positive case or those exhibiting clear symptoms. To schedule an initial telemedicine consultation, call Sutter Health’s COVID-19 hotline, at 831-458-5853. Patients with more serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, may be scheduled for an in-person visit.
You can also call or message your primary doctor directly on Sutter’s My Health portal. If you don’t have a My Health account, you can enroll online.
If you’re unable to have a video consultation, your doctor can instruct you on how to get an in-person evaluation. If you meet testing criteria, your doctor or a clinician will order a test and refer you to a testing site. Tests are ordered for asymptomatic patients on a case by case basis, after evaluation.
Testing: Sutter Health administers PCR tests with a nose or throat swab. Most test results are available within 48 hours, but can take up to 10 business days. If you test positive, you will get a phone call. All test results are posted in an online patient portal.
Cost: Sutter will not charge registered patients ahead of time for “medically necessary” COVID-19 screening at its facilities. Patients are advised to call their health insurance provider to make sure tests are covered before making an appointment.
610 Frederick St., Santa Cruz
To make an appointment: If you’re a Dignity Health patient, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or visit dignityhealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019.
Patients must have a Dignity physician’s consultation and referral to get tested at the Frederick Street drive-thru. Drive-up visits are done Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are not needed.
This testing site administers an Abbott rapid test and a standard PCR test. Rapid test results are available to patients in 15 minutes, and PCR results — used to confirm the rapid test result — are available within 24 to 48 hours.
Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte (two locations)
Watsonville: 398 S. Green Valley Road
Santa Cruz: 1119 Pacific Ave., Suite 200
To make an appointment: Call 877-855-7526. COVID-19 testing at Planned Parenthood health centers is only available by appointment to primary care members at the Watsonville and Santa Cruz locations.
The turnaround time for PCR tests at these sites is three to five days.
Cost: All primary care member patients are covered under their Health Plan benefits or under Presumptive Eligibility (PE). Patients should not incur any cost if the testing is covered by their Health Plans or under PE.
Another option: Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is offering free drive-thru testing in Monterey (Parking Lot C: 980 Fremont St., Monterey) on a first-come, first-served basis. Testing is open to all, whether or not they have symptoms or health insurance. Photo ID required. Results take three to five days, as of Nov. 13.
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers
21507 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
SCCHC provides basic PCR testing and has results available within 24 to 48 hours.
This testing site has limited appointments due to staffing and financial constraints, so some patients will be referred to other testing locations in Santa Cruz County. Those with primary care physicians and private medical coverage should seek testing with their provider.
This testing site prioritizes SCCHC patients who have COVID-19 symptoms.
Patients reporting a recent close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, patients who lost housing due to the fires or who are moving to congregate housing are a higher testing priority than SCCHC patients without symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.
Those who are not SCCHC patients but have COVID-19 symptoms or have had a COVID-19 exposure can call 831-427-3500 and a service representative will gather their information to determine if they are able to make a testing appointment.
Patients who can’t be tested at SCCHC or at another health care provider will be referred to free testing sites at Ramsay Park, Westside Pharmacy and CVS Health.
Cost: SCCHC does not charge anyone for the COVID-19 test. If a patient has health insurance, this provider will bill their insurance. If a patient does not have coverage, SCCHC will see if they qualify for COVID-19 coverage under Medi-Cal.