What it's like to get a drive up COVID test (in Sacramento)

TLDR: it was quick and pretty easy, I just gave up all my privacy rights (and agreed to be contact traced), but at least it gave me peace of mind I did not have COVID.

ALSO: I did not have any symptoms, have been working from home and social distancing, and took the test to have peace of mind before visiting home. 

I heard about the drive thru testing in Sacramento through the SacBee, and after seeing someone post about their experience - I thought I would sign up.
Verily research conducts the test, which is meant for people in CA who do not need immediate attention. You can sign up here: https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/eligibility/.

Here is a timeline of the process:

  • Friday, May 29 - sign up for 10:30 AM appointment on Monday, June 1 
  • June 1 - 10:15 AM- arrive at Cal Expo 
  • Drive to the old Disneyland California letters, to realize that is the wrong entrance
  • 10:18-20 - drive around to other entrance and to check-in area
  • Confirm my appointment time with an officer, and drive thru lots of cones:
  • 10:21 - Go up to first check in area, where they confirmed appointment time, name
  • 10:22/23 - go to another tent area, where they checked cars in groups of three and then put a quest diagnostics bag on my windshield wiper
  • 10:24 - drive thru to a warehouse, where I tested at station 3 
  • 10:25 - person in medical equipment, poked the back of my nose with a swab, it itched and then I cried a single tear 
  • 10:26 - finished! 
Even getting lost - the process was around 11 minutes. 
The swab wasn't that painful, I am just sensitive, so most people probably wouldn't cry. 

I then got an email that it would take 2-5 days, and my friend informed me that she got her test results in 3 days. 

However, I got my results at 10 PM the next day, a less than 36 hour turnaround.

I checked the website and I can also get retested again.

If you don't have symptoms and want to "know your status" and do not mind participating in epidemiological research/are ok waving privacy rights, Project Baseline was a super easy process and I would recommend it.

Below are the following cities that Project Baseline is testing for in CA:
Alturas, CA
Bakersfield, CA
Bear Valley, CA
Bell, CA
Bieber, CA
Bishop, CA
Bridgeport, CA
Cedarville, CA
Clearlake, CA
Crescent City, CA
Daly City, CA
Doyle, CA
East Palo Alto, CA
Half Moon Bay, CA
Hayfork, CA
Herlong, CA
Jackson, CA
Kirkwood, CA
Lake Elsinore, CA
Lakeport, CA
Lone Pine, CA
Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles (Exposition Park), CA
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Middletown, CA
Napa, CA
Oakland (Allen Temple), CA
Oakland (Henry J Kaiser), CA
Quincy, CA
Redwood City (North Fair Oaks), CA
Sacramento, CA
Salida, CA
San Francisco (Bernal Heights), CA - PEDESTRIAN ACCESS ONLY
San Francisco (Fillmore District), CA - PEDESTRIAN ACCESS AVAILABLE
San Francisco (Tenderloin), CA - PEDESTRIAN ACCESS ONLY
San Jose (PAL Stadium), CA
San Jose (SCC Fairgrounds), CA
San Mateo, CA
Sherman Oaks, CA
Stockton, CA
Susanville, CA - Department of Public Health
Susanville, CA - Lassen Community College
Van Nuys (Balboa Park), CA
Weaverville, CA
Westwood, CA
Willow Creek, CA
Woodfords, CA
Yosemite Valley, CA


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