If you’ve experienced COVID-19 symptoms, know you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or haven’t completed your vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you get tested.
But anyone who feels they’re at risk can be tested as Santa Barbara County deals with a rampant uptick in cases.
The county Public Health Department operates four sites. Testing is free.
In North County is the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 Thornburg St., Santa Maria. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Fridays.
In Lompoc, there’s a testing trailer at the Lompoc Health Care Center, 301 North R. St. The center is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Testing is available by appointment only.
In Santa Barbara, there is a testing location at the Santa Barbara County government campus at 267 Camino del Remedio. Testing is available by appointment only. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
Testing is also done at the mini-bus at Direct Relief, 6100 Wallace Becknell Road, Goleta. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Because of high testing demand, results will be delivered four to five days after the test, according to the Public Health Department.
And according to CDC guidelines, you should be tested if any of the following apply to you:
— You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
— You have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. Regardless of vaccination status, you should be tested if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, according to the CDC.
— You are not up to date on vaccines.
At-home test kits are also available and can be used regardless of symptoms or vaccination status.
The CDC recommends keeping test kits in your home or wherever you think you might need them. Self-tests offer fast results and may be more convenient than laboratory or point of care tests. A negative test result means that you may not have an infection. However, according to the CDC, it does not rule out an infection completely. To increase the likelihood of a negative test, repeat the test in a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months, you do not need to be tested, as long as you are not experiencing symptoms. Again, that’s according to the CDC.
For more information, see cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html.
For more on county testing sites, go to