View All Posts

Oct 26

Free COVID-19 testing available for children

Posted on October 26, 2020 at 8:23 pm by Clay Curtin

Free children's COVID-19 testing is now available at the San Mateo County Event Center. Testing is open by appointment to all families that live in San Mateo County with children ages 5 and older. Appointments for the drive-thru testing at the San Mateo County Event Center are available weekdays from 1 to 8 p.m.

The County of San Mateo 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. Register your child for testing through the Curative testing website. 

Frequently asked questions
  1. Do children or family members need to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have concerns about a possible exposure to the virus? No. All San Mateo County residents with children ages 5 and older are eligible for no-cost testing.
  2. Can patients eat or drink before taking the test? Patients cannot eat or drink in the 20 minutes leading up to their test. 
  3. Is this test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration? Yes, Curative’s test is authorized under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
  4. If a minor tests positive, how is the family notified? The parent or guardian will be notified by text or email by Curative and will also be contacted by San Mateo County Health staff.
  5. If a minor tests negative, how is the family notified? The parent or guardian will be notified by text message or email.
  6. What are the test procedures? A trained observer watches to make sure the patient performs a thorough test. They are ready to intervene if any of the following steps are missed or performed inadequately.
The testing procedure involves
  • Coughing deeply 3-5 times
  • Swabbing for 20 seconds: Inside of each cheek, upper and lower gums, underneath and top of tongue and roof of mouth
  • Making sure the swab has not been touched, dropped or contaminated in any way
  • Tightly securing the cap on the tube with the swab tip is facing downward in the liquid
  • Securely sealing the return bag so the tube doesn’t fall out
For more frequently asked questions, view the San Mateo County press release

Adults aged 18 and over can schedule a free COVID-19 test through Project Baseline, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at the San Mateo County Event Center. To see testing availability and make an appointment, visit the Project Baseline website.