We use a PCR test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19. The community testing sites operated by the City of Los Angeles are currently using a self-administered test that uses samples collected from the mouth:

Mouth (or Oral) Sample – It is very important that you follow the instructions carefully for the mouth swab. The quality of the test will depend on how closely you follow the instructions. Here is a short video to help you prepare for how to collect the sample:

Nose Sample – Most sites operated by the County are using a sample from the nose. There are two ways that samples from the nose are being collected at the community testing sites. The most common way is for the sample to be taken from the front of the nose. This is a "self-administered" test, meaning the person taking the test collects this sample on their own. It is much more comfortable than the sample taken from the back of the nose. Here is a short video to help you prepare for how to collect the sample:


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