Santa Cruz COE COVID-19 Testing For School Community


Questions about Testing? Go to our FAQs.

Please note: There is a delay in results. Due to volume of testing, results now may take from 48-96 hours

4 Drive-Thru Testing Locations Currently Available for All Students, Staff, and Families

Testing Available in Santa Cruz, Aptos, and Watsonville, Monday-Saturday!

      • Cabrillo College (Park & Walk Up) - Cabrillo, Parking Lot K, Aptos

        • Mon-Fri: 9am – 5 pm

        • Saturdays: 9 am – 3 pm

      • Santa Cruz County of Education Drive-Thru - 399 Encinal St, Santa Cruz

        • Mon-Fri: 2 pm – 5 pm

        • Closed Saturday

      • Pajaro Valley Unified School District Drive-Thru - 294 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville

        • Friday, January 21 only: 9 am – 5 pm

        • Mondays & Wednesdays: 1 pm 5 pm

        • Closed Saturday

      • Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Drive-Thru, 2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville

        • Monday-Fri - 10 am to 5 pm

        • Sat - 9 am to 3 pm

Schools and Districts are working to keep students and staff safe and our classrooms open. Testing is one layer in a multi-layered approach to COVID-19 prevention, in addition to other key measures such as vaccination, mask-wearing, improved ventilation, physical distancing, and respiratory and hand hygiene. We are partnering with Inspire Diagnostics to conduct school-based testing using the PCR test. This testing is optional for students. Students who participate will be eligible for Modified Quarantine if they are exposed to a positive case at school. This will allow them to stay in school during the quarantine period.

If you have questions, please email us at or call (831) 466-5904

Here is the latest on the status of our major testing initiatives:

  • Weekly on-site PCR testing: Most schools in our county will be offering PCR testing on-site to all students who opt-in. In cases where students may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the testing is offered twice weekly. In the weeks ahead, we are working to expand on-site testing to the overwhelming majority of public, private and charter schools countywide. Please contact your school principal to sign up. We have created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) to provide more clarity about the program.

  • Drive-through PCR testing: Three outdoor drive-through PCR testing sites are now open to the entire school community. These sites are available for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, and most test results are returned within 24-hours — comparatively, faster than most alternatives. Students and their families, and staff and their families are welcome to utilize this free service. Those needing a test simply need to fill out the registration one time at and go to any site. No appointment is required. Locations/times:

      • Drive-Thru Locations

          • Santa Cruz County Office of Education Annex parking lot, 399 Encinal St, Santa Cruz CA

          • Cabrillo College in Aptos, Parking Lot K, 6500 Soquel Ave., Aptos, CA

          • PVUSD District Office parking lot, 294 Green Valley Rd., Watsonville CA

          • Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076

  • Rapid-response antigen testing: Hundreds of school staff from across the county have been trained to administer rapid-response antigen testing to provide an additional layer of surveillance in cases of on-campus exposure.

  • Schools will also be distributing Home Antigen Tests this week - they will be communicating directly with families their distribution plan

  • Directions for using Home Antigen Tests can be found here

The level of inter-district coordination involved in these initiatives is difficult to overstate, and we understand to be unusual in our state, even under the current circumstances. Inspire Diagnostics, our primary testing partner, has our gratitude for enabling this level of testing in our schools. And above all else, our persistent focus on increasing testing capacity across Santa Cruz County reflects our foundational commitment: ensuring our students are healthy, and our classrooms are open.