Residents can now make appointments to be “screened, and subsequently tested at COVID-19 Community Based Testing Sites. |

The Santa Barbara Public Health Department has announced that starting today, May 1, county residents can make appointments to be “screened, and subsequently tested at COVID-19 Community Based Testing Sites.” The program is part of a larger effort to dramatically expand testing throughout California, one of the six criteria Governor Newsom listed in his requirements for moving to re-open the state. 

The first such site in Santa Barbara County will be open on May 5, at the Santa Maria Fairpark at 937 Thornburg Street in Santa Maria. The release states that locations will be opening in Santa Barbara and Lompoc later that week, and will be operating five days a week, with testing by appointment only. Details on timing in the release are somewhat vague, stating only that “days and times will be adjusted based on community need.” 

The Santa Barbara Independent is providing all coronavirus stories for free
so that all readers have access to critical information during this time.
Get the top stories in your inbox by signing up for our daily newsletter, Indy Today

The release emphasizes that the tests are to detect the presence of COVID-19 in a person and are not antibody tests to discover if a person has ever been infected. As far as payments go, the release states, “There will be no out-of-pocket expense or co-pay, and insurers of those who have coverage will be billed.” 

While everyone is eligible for screening, the release states that the following groups will be prioritized:

• Health-care workers and first responders

• Persons 65 years and older or any age with chronic medical conditions

• Residents or employees of congregate care living facilities

• Persons in essential occupations which include utilities, grocery, food supply, and public employees

• Any persons exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19

Screening and appointments can be made 7 a.m.-5 p.m. by visiting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.