Who should be tested for coronavirus?

Due to limited availability of test supplies, Scripps is not testing individuals with little to no symptoms.


For those who are not tested or are awaiting the results of their COVID-19 test, the CDC offers guidance on what to do if you are sick.

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

If you are a Scripps patient and have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please start by calling our nurse line at 888-261-8431. Or you can use one of our virtual care options.


Testing has been expanding for pediatric patients who have mild COVID-19 symptoms and have had them for more than 72 hours. Call your physician’s office or our nurse line at 888-261-8431 to make an appointment.


Scripps health care workers who have been experiencing mild and moderate symptoms of COVID-19 for more than 72 hours and believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 within the past several days should also arrange to be tested. 


Beyond the testing expansion for pediatric patients and heath care workers, Scripps is only testing people with moderate symptoms of COVID-19, especially those who are at higher risk. This includes older adults; and patients with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and chronic kidney or liver disease. If it is medically necessary for you to be tested, Scripps will test you.


For all others, the County of San Diego and the State of California have multiple testing sites throughout San Diego. The highest priority for the County of San Diego testing sites remains to test groups and individuals with COVID-19 infection symptoms, followed by asymptomatic people in high-risk groups or settings which include:


  • High-risk symptomatic individuals
  • People exposed to infected individuals in places where COVID-19 risk is high
  • Healthcare workers, first responders, other social service employees, and people in other essential jobs
  • People considered part of vulnerable populations
  • Older adults
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Caretakers of older adults or those with underlying medical conditions


For information on County of San Diego testing, call 2-1-1 or make an appointment online at coronavirus-sd.com/testing. For State of California testing locations and eligibility, call 888-634-1123 from 7 am - 7 pm, Monday - Friday, or visit lhi.care/covidtesting.

Is Scripps testing for coronavirus antibodies? 

There is still much uncertainty about the value and use of testing for antibodies related to the new coronavirus. Scripps Health currently is offering antibody testing in very limited circumstances. Antibody testing requires an order from a physician. Patients with questions about antibody testing should contact their doctor. For more information about antibody testing, visit the CDC website

What should I do if I believe I may have been infected with coronavirus?

If you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, it is important that you call our dedicated COVID-19 nurse line at 888-261-8431 before coming in or take advantage of one of our virtual care options. Please do not walk in or use online scheduling. This way, we can arrange for appropriate care for you while protecting others.


Those determined to have a risk of infection might be directed to one of our drive-up testing cabanas — at Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines, Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo, or Scripps Coastal Medical Center Vista — which is by appointment only, for further testing, or, if necessary, to an urgent care center or emergency room for further treatment.


Additionally, Scripps has set up triage/surge tents and canopies outside each of its emergency departments at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and at the urgent cares at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Vista. These structures are handling a variety of activities, such as patient screening, evaluation and testing of patients with fever and/or respiratory symptoms, as necessary.

When should I seek medical attention for coronavirus symptoms?

If you develop any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:


  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion 
  • Inability to get up
  • Bluish lips or face


*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.


Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth to protect other people.