How to get tested for COVID-19 in Sacramento county

Localized testing is open for ARC students and staff on campus


In response to Omicron case numbers spiking, more testing sites around Sacramento have opened up, including the American River College campus for students and staff. (Photo by Alyssa Branum)

With the Omicron variant sweeping through the nation it might be harder to find testing resources available in the Sacramento area. 

American River College’s administration is implementing ways to assemble methods of testing available on campus, according to Scott Crow, ARC’s communication and public information officer. 

All students and employees can get tested for COVID-19 at our on-campus testing centers at no cost. Testing capacity is limited and appointments are recommended. We will accommodate walk-ins to the best of our ability,” Crow said in an email to the Current. 

For more information or to make an appointment, visit the website here. Testing on campus is listed primarily as Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. along with 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

For Sacramento County, multiple self-administered nasal testing sites have opened up to make sure everyone is receiving accurate results in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Testing availability will depend on the specific location’s method of operation, meaning some allow walk-ins while others are by appointment only. Although some locations do offer both, most typically have one option, a rapid test which takes 30 minutes for the test to process. In this case, those getting tested will be notified within 45 minutes to an hour or a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. For PCR tests, results are through a lab and will normally take up to three days, or as long as five days if there are delays before results are available. 

For someone who wants more than an at-home test, and there are no appointments available through a healthcare provider, other options for testing are available any day of the week.

Information on the Sacramento County COVID-19 testing website provides details on when, where, and what tests are made available in the county. The site lists details broken up into categories based on the specifics needed for individuals wanting a test done. 

“The county is doing everything they can to help provide resources such as PPE and staff…we are also doing weekly meetings with the other community-based organizations that do testing to make sure everyone is on the same page,” says Billy Gougherty, a program director for the Asian Resources, Inc, one of the 15 testing locations working with the county. 

While an appointment is not necessary, testing locations do require users to register so they can be contacted regarding results when made available. This is done through My Primary Health, a patient portal, after following the link to the location’s site and continuing for COVID-19 testing. The process is made quick and easy by entering basic information then confirming a correct number and email for contact. 

It is recommended to get to testing locations at the earliest convenience, waiting times are anywhere from 15 minutes to at least three hours as hundreds of people are in search of tests daily. For locations like Liberty Towers, anyone wanting to be tested should be in line by 1 p.m. because operations end at 4 p.m. 

Once on-site, COVID-19 testing processes are made simple but effective. This is made possible by the healthcare workers, staff, and volunteers offering their time into managing and administering these tests.