Now with covid testing becoming more plentiful, you no longer need to be symptomatic to get a FREE test. Here is the Testing Center that I used, which I have recommended to many friends and they have all given feedback that they found it to be extremely convenient, nice and Free.
Our family went to the El Camino Health Urgent Care – Cupertino. (If this location doesn’t work for you, I have more information on other locations at the bottom of this write-up.) This test center provides Free covid19 testing for asymptomatic people, for any reason (except for air travel certification), including for kids. It is also conveniently located right by Main Street – Cupertino, which is a popular dining area with numerous cafes. It was a perfect place to treat the kids to a dessert after we finished our tests.
- Schedule: Go to https://carbonhealth.com/cupertino (or their other locations) and schedule your appointment online. It will ask you for your insurance and a credit card (you can input your HSA card), but if you don’t have insurance you should be able to leave it blank. Your insurance will cover the test and if you don’t have insurance, the government will cover the test. The test is FREE and we were not charged, despite inputting our insurance/HSA card.
- If you are bringing kids, schedule your appointments back to back, so they can service you all together.
- Parking: On the day of your appointment, you can find ample parking in the Cupertino Main Street Plaza (assuming you are not going during weekends/Friday). There should also be lots of parking all around. I don’t go on weekends/Friday to avoid crowds. I parked near the Meet Fresh cafe and we just walked over to the clinic.
- Clinic Setting: Upon entering, the clinicians will advise you to stand/wait at appropriate spots. They will check your ID. When it is your turn, they will call you into one of their medical rooms. If you are a family, they will bring the entire family in together. Hand sanitizer and safety procedures are all followed at this clinic.
- The Testing: Clinicians will come in to ask you some questions, take some health metrics and then conduct a nasal swab. I found the clinicians to be very good with kids, and made the kids comfortable by suggesting that it will just be a “nose tickle”. My two young children did very well and actually enjoyed the covid19 testing experience. My nose swab experience was pretty mellow, it wasn’t uncomfortable though I could feel the swab. I have no issues coming back in for future testing.
- Results: The website stated that results will be back within 4 days. Our clinician stated it would be back in 3-7 days. Our friends who went after us, told us their clinician stated it would be back in 3-4 days. Our test was on Monday afternoon and we got our results on Wednesday, late afternoon. So this gives you an idea of the range. You will be notified of your results via text/email and you can check it through the Carbon website or the Carbon app on your phone. To check the results for multiple family members, simply use the “Switch Accounts” feature in the app or website.
- Desserts! After our tests, we thanked the clinicians and walked over to get Meet Fresh, SomiSomi, Cafe Lattea, Philz Coffee and all sorts of snacks/desserts. The children have been asking when they can return for another “nose tickle” to get more desserts afterwards.
From my conversation with our clinician, they had been doing covid tests at this clinic since around February. However, back then, due to a shortage of tests, it was only available to symptomatic people. However, since then, tests have become more plentiful and they are now able to offer it to the asymptomatic general public.
They also mentioned that they get a lot of repeated patients that come in for tests every 14 days, just to be on top of things. They also stated that if you think you may have been exposed, to wait 5-7 days before coming in for a test because earlier than that, the virus might not manifest itself and you might get a false negative.
Also, they advised us that in the event our test results return positive, you can contact your Doctor, go to the Emergency Room, or you can go back to this clinic for covid treatment.
Finally, when my friend visited she shared that her clinician also stated that it seems “most people are getting tested for travel. Not many positives in this area. More positives in the East Bay and SF”.
This will be our go-to place for covid19 testing when needed. It’s professional, safe, quick, friendly and free for the whole family.
What if I am too far from Cupertino? Are there other locations?
El Camino Health Clinics: Yes, they have a few other locations around the Bay Area that you can look into here.
Project Baseline Covid19 Testing: My friend mentioned this as another option for in-person covid19 testing for adults. (Free, but unknown to me if asymptomatic people qualify.)
Pixel by Labcorp: My friend also mentioned this option for mail-in covid19 testing for adults. (Free, but unknown to me if asymptomatic people qualify.)
Update 12/8/2020 – I filled out the questionnaire for this one and though I was asymptomatic, I answered that Testing was Recommended for me (it was) and I was able to get a kit. I had to input my insurance information, otherwise the fee for this kit was $130. If you are asymptomatic and have not been exposed, you would not qualify for this kit.