COVID Testing

COVID Reference Lab Information

As an academic medical center, we focus on cutting-edge technology and the highest level of quality in the testing services we provide.

covid-testing-hero

Services and Contact Information

​The UC San Diego Health Clinical Lab is a premier, state-of-the-art laboratory in San Diego, CA, and is ready to support your organization’s COVID-19 testing needs. Through the course of COVID-19, UC San Diego Health has supported the testing needs of multiple entities across various industries including but not limited to the following:

  • Network medical providers
  • Other community medical providers or Health Systems
  • Employers
  • First responders
  • Local governments
  • School districts
  • Professional sports teams

Our Services

COVID-19 information, research, and testing technology continue to change and evolve. Being that UC San Diego Health is an academic medical center, we focus on cutting-edge technology and the highest level of quality in the testing services we provide. Our testing services are intended to contribute to the needs of our region. Read on below to find out if our current services may be the right fit for your organization.

How it works:

You collect your sample, and we run the test and provide the results back to you. 

PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) testing information:

  • This type of testing is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing and detects active virus
  • Currently, we collect PCR via anterior nares nasal swab (just inside the nostril)
  • We require the use of our swabs and viral media: they are included in the per test rate
  • Typically, your results are provided to the reference lab the next day once they are received at our lab for processing

Antibody blood test information:

  • This type of test detects whether a person previously had the COVID-19 virus
  • Additional details about the antibody test are in our online test menu
  • Typically, results are provided to the reference lab the next day once they are received at our lab for processing

Specimen collection support and reference lab

We collect your sample, run the test, and provide results for the following testing types.

Onsite asymptomatic screening information:

  • UCSD comes to you on an agreed upon date and time
  • Testing is provided for a pre-registered/scheduled group of people (no less than 20)
  • We courier the tests to our lab for processing
  • Typically, your results are provided the next day once they are received at our lab for processing

Drive-up testing services information:

  • This option is for anyone requiring screening or who may be symptomatic or exposed
  • Our courier takes them to our lab for processing
  • Typically, results are provided the next day once they are received at our lab for processing

Provider ordering / resulting

Need support on ordering and resulting tests? We can discuss options with you.


Contact the UC San Diego Health Reference Lab

If you’re interested in using UC San Diego Health for your organization’s testing needs, submit your inquiry using the form. If you’re a patient looking for COVID-19 testing, please visit here.


Be as specific as possible as to what you’re looking for to help us better understand your needs. Please note, our onboarding time varies based on scope and the current state of COVID-19.

A COVID-19 outreach team member will be in contact within 3 business days (excluding holidays) to discuss your request with you. We look forward to connecting!

If you require additional assistance with COVID-19 testing, please visit here.

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