Lindsey Shepard | Mustang News

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is now offering faster COVID-19 antigen and PCR tests at no cost. Tests are available at community testing sites in Grover Beach, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.

According to a County Public Health news release, antigen test results will be available within two hours, but could come in as little as 30 minutes. PCR tests results will be available in less than two days. 

These free tests were first made available on Monday.  

“Since the pandemic began, we have been working toward a day when residents could easily access free, plentiful COVID-19 testing with results available quickly,” County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said. “This is now a reality in SLO County.” 

If those with COVID-19 symptoms receive negative antigen test results, they will be offered a PCR test. According to County Public Health, PCR tests are generally more accurate and can detect infection sooner.

All tests will be administered by a clinician and are not available in a take-home format.

“If you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms, from a sore throat or cough to fever or headache, please take a few minutes to get tested,” Borenstein said. “You’ll be helping protect your loved ones and help keep this pandemic under control here in SLO County.”

Health insurance is not required to receive a test. For those with insurance, information will be collected upon registration. Regardless of insurance status, testing is free.

According to the news release, the Morro Bay testing site at 209 Surf St. will close indefinitely after Wednesday due to a decreased testing demand.

Public health officials recommend making an appointment to be tested, though walk-ins are accepted as availability allows.

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