Free COVID-19 tests offered at CSUN, L.A. county


Kaitlyn Lavo

Photo Illustration of COVID-19 rapid tests.

Daniel Hernandez, Reporter

The federal government is now offering up to four free rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 testing kits per household, while Los Angeles County and CSUN are offering free PCR lab tests for qualified residents and all students.

The rapid tests from the federal government can be ordered on the website. All orders are expected to ship within 7 to 12 business days.

PCR testing requires laboratory processing and a longer waiting period for results than rapid testing, where results are typically ready 15 to 30 minutes after self-administration. PCR testing looks for the RNA specific to the coronavirus, whereas rapid tests look for the protein material present in the virus.

For L.A. County residents who are looking for at-home PCR tests, the county has created the L.A. County Home Test Collection program. To qualify for a free test you must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have had an exposure to the virus.
The program is available by signing up on the Fulgent Genetics website. After signing up, test kits will be mailed to the address provided for self-administration.

The test kits are expected to arrive two business days after the order is submitted. All tests must be dropped off at a FedEx location or drop box on the same day of administration for the sample to be accepted.

Free COVID-19 testing is available on campus Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for all CSUN students. Fulgent Genetics, a testing vendor for CSUN, is conducting PCR testing at kiosks located at the University Student Union Freudian Sip Commons and Shore Pine Hall.

Students can make a testing appointment using their student health portals. Walk-ins are accepted, but students are required to fill out a one-time pre-registration form with their student ID number prior to arrival.

Test kits are given to students at the kiosks for on-site self-administration. Results are expected to be available 24 to 48 hours after testing.

Weekly testing is required for all students on campus who are not fully vaccinated and boosted. Students who have not completed their self-certification of vaccine status, to include a booster, must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test within seven days prior to attending any on-campus activities.