Last updated: Dec. 16, 2022
Green markers indicate sites that offer free testing. Most sites have eligibility requirements.
COVID-19 and flu test information
Santa Cruz County has nearly two dozen COVID-19 testing sites and three free influenza test sites. Eligibility rules, cost and turnaround time vary. Here’s the breakdown by city and area.
Free COVID and flu tests are also available for people with symptoms at three locations in Santa Cruz County:
- Watsonville: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday at the Veterans Memorial Building, 215 E. Beach St.
- Santa Cruz: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday at the county government building parking lot (near Starbucks), 701 Ocean St.
- Felton: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Tuesday at the Felton Library, 6121 Gushee St.
What to do with a positive flu test result
People with positive flu tests can contact their health provider for an antiviral prescription. If antiviral treatment is started within two days of the onset of symptoms, the medicine can lessen symptoms and shorten the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more about flu antivirals.
People with serious symptoms are urged to consider emergency medical care. Serious symptoms include:
- Significant difficulty breathing.
- Intense chest pain.
- Severe weakness.
- Fever that persists for days.
People who have COVID are encouraged to contact their health provider to see if they are eligible for COVID treatment. The antiviral pills work best if started immediately after symptom onset, local public health officials have said.
Santa Cruz County has several “test-to-treat” locations where residents can get a COVID test, see a health care provider and get antiviral pills in the same visit.
Santa Cruz County students, staff and their families can get tested at:
- School sites by registration
- Cabrillo College parking lot R, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
- San Lorenzo Valley District Office, 325 Marion Ave., Ben Lomond. 12-4p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Pajaro Valley Unified School District parking lot, 294 Green Valley Road, Watsonville. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday.
- Santa Cruz County of Education, 399 Encinal St., Santa Cruz. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
- Salud Para La Gente, 204 E. Beach St., Watsonville. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The tests are free or billed through health insurance. More information.
Other free COVID tests
Free tests are offered at the following locations. Some locations have eligibility requirements.
Updated COVID boosters are available to anyone 5 and older. As of late November 2022, 23% of eligible Santa Cruz County residents have received the updated COVID booster, according to county data.
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Marika Riggs, an intensive care unit nurse at Dominican Hospital, receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose in December 2020. (Shmuel Thaler — Santa Cruz Sentinel)