See our Omicron surge page for up-to-date guidance on testing, vaccination, masking, isolation, and quarantine.

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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Use tests to identify when to isolate

Berkeley, California (Thursday, January 14, 2021) - You now have more places to get a COVID-19 test in Berkeley to help more quickly identify whether you or your loved ones should isolate and quarantine to stop the virus' spread.

Our first pop-up sites will rotate between downtown locations as well as sites in south and west Berkeley.

By increasing options, we hope more people will get tested - especially as the current surge shows the virus is spreading more than ever.

  • Tuesday, January 19, Harold Way, between Kittredge and Allston
  • Wednesday, January 20, Berkeley Bowl West, 920 Heinz Ave.
  • Thursday January 21, Harold Way, between Kittredge and Allston
  • Tuesday January 26, Harold Way, between Kittredge and Allston
  • Wednesday, January 27, Berkeley Bowl, 2020 Oregon St.*
  • Thursday, January 28, Harold Way, between Kittredge and Allston

People can make an appointment online. These tests are performed by Optum, a provider funded by the state and coordinated by the City.

Use tests and symptom recognition as one tool to protect yourself and our community

Tests and recognition of COVID-19 symptoms are crucial to stopping the spread.

Anyone who tests positive, has been told by a medical provider that they are presumed positive, has COVID-19 symptoms or has symptoms after being exposed to a test-positive case within the past two weeks should take immediate action to isolate. Those who are exposed should quarantine.

Negative tests don't mean you're not infected

People should not use a negative test to gather or loosen the public health actions that are essential to keeping our community safe during this unprecedented surge.

A single negative test result does not mean a person is not infected with the virus. People may unknowingly spread the virus if they don't quarantine after an exposure. Even if testing negative early, they may become positive at a later point.

Last Friday, the FDA issued a safety message about "false negatives" in testing from Curative, a test vendor used around the region and in Berkeley. The City has reached out to the company and the state to get more information. 

If anyone is concerned about a particular test approach, we offer other options as a City and many more are available through the region or through their health care providers. We recommend that people talk to their doctor about individual diagnostic decisions.

Protect yourself before a test is needed

Protective actions - such as staying home, wearing face coverings, avoiding crowds and keeping six feet from those not in your household - are essential because the virus may not be detected by any test for two weeks.

Get tested. You'll help protect yourself, your family and our community.

*This message was edited on January 22, 2021 to correct the address for the testing pop-up on Wednesday, January 27.


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