COVID-19 Testing: Options for Children
The County of San Mateo now offers no-cost testing for COVID-19 for children age 5 and older — a new option that expands the County’s testing capacity.
Testing is open by appointment to all families that live in San Mateo County with children ages 5 and older.
Appointments for the drive-through testing at the San Mateo County Event Center are available weekdays from 1 to 8 p.m. Make an appointment now.
The County is offering a simple-to-use oral mouth swab test that is self-administered for children and families in partnership with Curative Inc., a rapid diagnostics firm based in Southern California. Curative has the capacity to test over 500 individuals each day at the Event Center with results available typically within 48 hours.
For Adults: Adults age 18 and over can schedule a test Tuesdays through Saturdays at the San Mateo County Event Center or at a rotating series of neighborhood locations through test provider Project Baseline. Visit smcgov.org/testing for additional information and testing options.
What should you expect at the Curative drive-through appointment?
Watch these videos in English and Spanish or read the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
►Q: Do children or family members need to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have concerns about a possible exposure to the virus?
A: No. All San Mateo County residents with children ages 5 and older are eligible for no-cost testing.
►Q: What kind of test does Curative offer?
A: Curative kits test for the presence of COVID-19 RNA in an oral-fluid sample.
►Q: Can patients eat or drink before taking the test?
A: Patients cannot eat, drink, chew gum, smoke or vape in the 20 minutes leading up to their test. If they have, please ask them to wait 20 minutes before collecting a sample.
►Q: Is this test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration?
A: Yes, Curative’s test is authorized under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
►Q: What is the accuracy of the test?
A: The test is approximately 90 percent accurate.
►Q: What is inside a test kit?
A: Each EUA-approved collection kit includes a barcoded biohazard bag with an oral fluid swab, a test tube (with stabilizing liquid), an absorbent cotton round, and paper instructions.
►Q: What are the test procedures?
A: A trained observer watches to make sure the patient performs a thorough test. They should be ready to intervene if any of the following steps are missed or performed inadequately:
● Cough deeply 3-5 times
● Swab for 20 seconds: ○ Inside of each cheek ○ Upper and lower gums ○ Underneath and top of tongue ○ Roof of mouth
● The swab has not been touched, dropped, or contaminated in any way
● The cap on the tube is secure and the swab tip is facing downward in the liquid
● The return bag is securely sealed so the tube doesn’t fall out
►Q: Can other people be in the vehicle during the test?
A: Yes, wearing a face covering.
►Q: Are on-site appointments available?
A: Yes, but expect the process to take longer because individuals will need to register. Please have your photo ID and insurance card ready.
►Q: If a minor tests positive, how is the family notified?
A: The parent or guardian will be notified by text or email by Curative and will also be contacted by San Mateo County Health staff.
►Q: If a minor tests negative, how is the family notified?
A: The parent or guardian will be notified by text message or email.