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COVID-19 Testing Updates - Alameda County

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) sent out an alert , recommending that all Alameda County residents who were aboard the Grand Princess Cruise who have been symptomatic with fever, new cough, or difficulty breathing since the cruise be tested for COVID-19 by their healthcare provider. Testing is recommended even if symptoms resolved. Commercial testing is now available for COVID-19 without ACPHD approval.

In a separate update , ACPHD indicated that Alameda County healthcare providers should direct COVID-19 testing to commercial laboratories and other non-public health laboratories now offering COVID-19 testing. Providers may determine which patients are suspect COVID-19 cases using clinical judgement, but should alert ACPHD regarding the priority cases listed below. ACPHD approval is no longer needed for testing. ACPHD will prioritize testing based on the highest risk of exposure, including:

  • Close contact (household or health care worker) with a lab confirmed case;
  • History of travel to an area with CDC Level 3 warning;
  • Travel on the Grand Princess Cruise ship within 14 days of symptom onset.

While ACPHD approval is no longer needed for testing, providers may request COVID-19 testing at the Alameda County Public Health Lab (ACPHL). To do so, visit and click on the interim instructions for COVID-19 Testing at the ACPHL . ACPHL performs testing on weekdays only. ACPHD will prioritize testing based on the above criteria for highest risk of exposure.