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Find the Best Site to Get a Free COVID-19 Test in Berkeley


There are many places to get tested around the Bay Area, and different sites ask for varying documentation. This list has been formulated to provide options regardless of health insurance, citizenship, and financial situations. 

Curative Testing:

Curative Testing, which is in the parking lot at the Berkeley Adult School on 1707 San Pablo Ave., is not concerned with proof of health care. Curative is a business that has previously administered flu shots and other vaccines. Currently, it is focused mainly on testing for COVID-19. Testing by Curative is free and available for all by appointment, and health insurance is not required. The only documentation needed is a form of ID, used to ensure that the individual being tested is the same person who scheduled the appointment. Curative has eight thousand testing sites around the country and will send results by text and email within 24 to 48 hours. The test itself is done with a mouth swab, which is less uncomfortable than other tests and more child friendly. 


OptumServe runs a testing site that requires neither health coverage nor documentation. Tests are done at the MLK Jr. Youth Services Center at 1730 Oregon St. OptumServe operates under the federal business UnitedHealth Group, and is free for all. However, OptumServe does prioritize people who display COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected individual. For those who do not fit either of those conditions and are not healthcare workers, it may be difficult to schedule an appointment at OptumServe as soon as at other sites. This site uses the nasal testing method. 

Sutter Health:

Sutter Health’s testing sites, located on 2450 Ashby Ave. and 2001 Dwight Ave., are more selective. Individuals must have both a health care provider and a primary care doctor to book an appointment. Additionally, this doctor must first determine whether a test is truly necessary. Although scheduling an appointment is a bit more complex, Sutter Health requires only one form of ID and proof of health care as documentation. 

There are more testing sites in Berkeley and the Bay Area, as they are a necessity in today’s world. Healthcare providers can offer help on finding the most convenient or accessible site. For those without healthcare, calling the nearest hospital is a good option. A few other nearby sites include Carbon Health at 2920 Telegraph Ave. and Instant Urgent Care at 3095 Telegraph Ave.