Free COVID-19 Testing Available Over Holidays

a young woman is being tested for coronavirus while inside her car
County public health nurse administers a COVID-19 test.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered seven days a week by the County throughout the holidays, with fewer locations and shorter hours on certain days.

On Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, sites will operate on a regular schedule, with each closing at 4 p.m.

On Dec. 25, three sites – University of San Diego, San Marcos and Southeastern San Diego – will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

On Jan. 1, five sites – Tubman-Chavez Community Center, Lemon Grove, the University of San Diego site in Linda Vista, Imperial Beach and Vista – will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Walk-in testing sites do not require appointments. However, as of Dec. 20, nearly all drive-up COVID-19 testing sites have become appointment-only locations. This change is in response to safety concerns caused by traffic backups. Appointments are accepted up to three days in advance with new appointments becoming available each day about noon.

The exception to the appointment-only drive-up testing will be sites operated by the San Diego County Fire Protection District. While appointments are highly recommended, and those with them are given preference, people without appointments will be tested as capacity permits.

“With vaccine distribution in its very earliest stage, COVID-19 testing remains extremely important to protect the public’s health,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “People experiencing any symptoms, or who feel they have been exposed, are encouraged to get promptly tested. Those with symptoms should isolate until getting results, while others should adhere to the best practices of wearing a mask, social distance, and good hygiene.”

Holiday testing demand is expected to be high. Wait times at walk-up locations will exceed an hour at times, and the public’s patience is appreciated.

For details on testing locations, or to make an appointment at a drive-up location, visit or call 2-1-1.

Certain testing sites are also offering separate no-cost, no-appointment flu vaccination shot clinics.

Tubman Chavez Community Center, 415 Euclid Ave, 92114:

  • Weekly on Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Imperial Beach Sports Park Recreation Center, 425 Imperial Beach Blvd, 91932:

  • Every other Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the next clinic on Dec. 26.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Live Well Mobile Office), 525 W. Vista Way, 92083:

  • Every other Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the next clinic Dec. 29.

Free flu clinics are available throughout the week with new ones added regularly. More information is at as well as at



José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact