COVID Reference Lab Information

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):

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

Our Services

COVID-19 information, research, and testing technology continue to change and evolve. Being that UCSD 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. Please read on below to see if one or more of our current list of services may be the right fit for your organization.

Reference Lab
You collect, we run the test and provide results back to you

  • PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) testing
    • 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). 
    • UCSD requires the use of our swabs and viral media – they are included in the per test rate.
    • Results are provided for reference lab typically next day once received at our lab for processing.
  • Antibody blood test
    • Detects whether a person previously had the COVID-19 virus.
    • Additional details are in our online test menu.
    • Results are provided for reference lab typically next day once received at our lab for processing.

Specimen Collection Support and Reference Lab
We collect, we run the test and provide results

  • Onsite asymptomatic screening
    • UCSD comes to you on a mutually agreed to date and time.
    • Testing provided for a pre-registered/scheduled group of people (no less than 20).
    • We courier the tests to our lab for processing.
    • Results are provided typically next day once received at our lab for processing.
  • Drive-up testing services
    • For those requiring screening and/or those who may be symptomatic or have been exposed
    • Our courier takes them to our lab for processing
    • Results are provided typically next day once 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 are interested in utilizing UCSD Health for your organization’s testing needs, submit your inquiry using the form below. If you are a patient looking for COVID-19 testing, please visit here.

Please include the following information:

  • Your organization
  • Your contact information 
    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone number
  • Which of the services above are you looking for?
  • When you are looking to begin testing (approximate date)?
  • How many people do you want to test?
  • Is this one-time testing event or reoccurring?
  • What other information is important for UCSD to be aware of?
  • What questions do you have?
Note: We are no longer scheduling testing for the Safe Travels Hawai'i program. Existing appointments will be honored. We are not a trusted partner for Bora Bora, Tahiti or any other destination. If you are a patient looking for COVID-19 testing, please visit here.

Please 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!

COVID-19 Testing for Travel to Hawaii

We are no longer scheduling testing for the Safe Travels Hawai'i program. Existing appointments will be honored.

We are not a trusted partner for Bora Bora, Tahiti or any other destination.


UC San Diego Health is proud to be a Trusted Testing Partner for the State of Hawai'i Safe Travels Hawai'i Program. Our lab is CLIA-certified, and our COVID-19 test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), as required by the Safe Travel Hawai'i program. We offer drive-up testing for $65, with results available within 48 hours at five convenient sites, including:

  • Eastlake / Chula Vista
  • Encinitas
  • Hillcrest
  • La Jolla
  • Rancho Bernardo

Although UC San Diego Health also offers testing through other links, only results from tests scheduled through the link below are valid for entry into Hawai'i.

UCSD Hawai'i FAQ

State of Hawai'i site:
Q: We are traveling to Hawai'i and are planning to test 72-hours in advance of flying out per Hawai'i's requirement. Does this give us enough time to get results in advance of going to the airport to board our flight?
A: Results and the Hawai'i travel form are available within 48-hours of getting swabbed.  It is the traveler's responsibility to retrieve the form with result and upload to the Hawai'i travel portal.
Q: It's been 32 hours since I got swabbed, should I call to check on my results?
A: Please do not reach out until it's been a full 48-hours without receiving both your result and State of Hawai'i travel form.  We are triaging calls from multiple populations including sick and surgical patients and need to keep our phone line open for urgent calls related to sick and surgical patients as much as possible.
Q: I am a student/employee of UCSD and receive free testing. I am traveling to Hawaii, can my free test be applied to Hawai'i travel?
A:  Yes, it can – pending we have not met our capacity for the day you are choosing to test.  Please reach out to COVID Ops at to confirm availability based on when you plan to get a test and see if you need to select an alternate day. If you do not pre-check with COVID Ops, you may not be able to use your employee test for travel.
Q: We are traveling to Hawai'i at the end of January 2021, when can we schedule out test?
A:  Scheduling opens up closer to travel dates. Hawai'i travel testing is limited and subject to availability and the current state of COVID.
Q: We are traveling to Bora Bora and/or Tahiti, are you a trusted travel partner site for testing to travel to those locations?
A:  We are currently a trusted travel partner for only Hawaii, and not any other travel locations.
Q: I'd like to schedule a test to travel to Hawai'i, can someone please call me?
A:  Unfortunately, we do not schedule by phone.
Q: My family and I have scheduled individual tests at the same time for travel to Hawai'i.  Can we show up for testing in the same car?
A:  No, testing must be done separately for those 18 and up.
Q: I'd like to schedule a test to travel to Hawaii, but cannot find an available testing slot on the day I need testing. What can I do?
A:  Hawaii' testing is limited and subject to availability and current state of COVID.  If you do not see any available slots, it means there are no more available for the day you've selected.  Please choose another day or you may search other local available Hawai'i testing options on the State of Hawai'i website.
Q: Does Hawai'i have any requirement for transferring flights? Since I will depart to Honolulu at 1pm from LAX and transfer from Honolulu to Maui at 7pm. Do I need valid 72h results from 1pm or 7pm?
A: Please check the State of Hawai'i requirements or call at 1-800-GOHAWAI (1-800-464-2924) to confirm.  It is up to the traveler to select the appropriate time to test based on travel requirements.
Q: I live in Oceanside and can only find a Hawai'i travel test on the day I need at your Hillcrest site. Can you switch my test to a drive-up location closer to my house?
A: Each site has its own limit of COVID tests and Hawaii tests so we are unable to move available Hawai'i testing between sites.

Hawai'i COVID-19 Test Timing

  • The test cannot be taken more than 72 hours before your flight departure time.
    • Please note, UCSD Health has limited availability for Hawai'i travel testing. Schedule as far enough in advance to meet the 72-hour testing requirement.
    • If there are no slots available, then we are at capacity for Hawai'i travel testing for the dates selected. Please refer back to the Hawai'i travel website for other local testing availability:
  • If you have a multi-city flight itinerary, the departure time is from the last city you leave before arrival into a Hawai'i airport (e.g. if your flight itinerary is from Denver to San Diego to Honolulu, the departure time is your flight from San Diego).
  • It is the responsibility of the traveler to schedule testing such that results are received prior to departure.
    • Any traveler who does not have their result prior to departure will be required to quarantine for 14 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter. Test results be must uploaded by the traveler to
  • For more information, see the FAQs below, visit Safe Travels Hawai'i Program or call the help line at 1-800-GOHAWAI (1-800-464-2924).

Test results

Results will be available via MyUCSDChart within 48 hours. We will email you a link to view them in your MyUCSDChart when they are ready. If you do not have an account, you will be provided an activation code in your test scheduling confirmation email. For children ages 11 and under, you will receive instructions for the MyChart account at the testing location. All passengers are required to have a negative test (regardless of age) to avoid quarantine.

  • Immediately upon receipt of your result form, upload it in PDF format in upright orientation to your account at Do not upload the instructions page.
  • Any traveler who does not have their result prior to departure will be required to quarantine.
  • If your test result is positive before you travel, DO NOT TRAVEL. Self-isolate and seek the advice of a medical provider.
  • A negative test result does not guarantee that you have not been exposed or that there is no COVID-19 virus in your body. You should continue to follow the safe practices to reduce the possible spread of the virus and monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath, changes in taste or smell or otherwise feel ill, please contact a medical provider to review your symptoms and possibly arrange further care and/or testing. You should self-isolate at the first signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection.
  • There will be a receipt available online on MyChart for insurance reimbursement.

Travel and Arrival in Hawai'i

  • We recommend you bring a printed copy of your test results with you.
  • To avoid quarantine, you may be required to take a follow-up post-arrival test depending on the county in Hawai'i to which you are traveling. Please check the appropriate county website.
  • You may also be asked to participate in a strictly voluntary post-arrival testing program to monitor the effectiveness of the Safe Travels pre-arrival test. Please consider participating as this helps to assure we are effectively lowering the risk of COVID-19 to our visitors and the people of Hawai'i.
  • The island of Kaua'i has temporarily opted out of the Safe Travels Hawai'i Program. Therefore all passengers will be required to quarantine upon arrival.


If you have been unable to upload your test result to your Safe Travels Application or your status has not been updated after 48 hours from the time of submission, please call the help line at 1-800-GOHAWAI (1-800-464-2924).

For more information, visit:

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