Prepare site logistics
Antigen and PCR Step 2 header image.

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PCR Antigen  

Provide Space icon. Provide physical space

Testing sites requirements:

  • Accessible by community or organization members either at private (e.g., parking lot/field associated with an employer) or public spaces (e.g., community park)
  • Provides space for safe physical distancing during the testing process
  • Offers all on-site logistics (e.g., internet access, appropriate sanitizing stations, waste pick-up, electricity)

2 possible flow types exist for testing: walk-in and drive-through. These options require different spaces and space layouts and serve different patients. While drive-through may be more convenient for some patients, it is essential to have pedestrian options for those community individuals who do not have automobiles.

Set up your testing station (example self-testing station):


1. Setup your collection bin for used kits.  It should be plastic so it’s easy to clean at the end of your testing event.

2. Set up your biohazard trash can with a red biohazard trash bag inside.  This should be next to your testing station for easy disposal of biohazard waste.

3. Set up your hand sanitizer, tissues, wet wipes and extra gloves as needed.  Tissues are helpful for community members on an as needed basis. Hand sanitizer should be used after self-testing. Wet wipes should be utilized to wipe down the station after each collection.

Procure PPE icon. Procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE requirements differ by staff interaction with participants.

Staff handling samples but not directly involved in collection and not working within 6 feet of the patient:

Staff collecting samples or within 6 feet of patients suspected to be infected with COVID-19:


N95 or higher-level respirator (or facemask if a respirator is not available)


Eye protection





Ensure Proper Staffing. Ensure proper staffing

Collection sites must have trained staff on site to oversee all test administration.

Staff requirements at the collection site will vary based on size but should include personnel focused on:

  • Guiding patients and managing traffic flow
  • Registering patients or assisting patients with self-registration
  • Checking patients in and collecting samples (monitoring or administering)
  • Preparing samples for shipping to the lab

Additionally, there are different staff requirements for self-administered tests:

Staff Requirements for Self-Administered tests (can be administered by parent/guardian for children under the age of 13)

Self-Administration requires supervision by trained personnel (see Supervising sample collection for more information) which can be any trained adult and can be done from 6 feet away. The CDC recommends that the test supervisor wears gloves and face mask and requires that the patient understand and be able to perform procedure.


  • 13 and older: Children who are 13 and older can provide consent and administer the tests themselves. If they do so, results will only be delivered to them, and not to a parent/guardian. If a parent/guardian is present for a child age 13-18, the parent/guardian can consent and can provide their contact details to receive the results on behalf of the child.
  • Under 13: Children who are under 13 must have parental or guardian consent and it is the parent or guardian’s best judgment on whether they or the child will administer the test themselves. Following testing, the parent or guardian that registered and consented on behalf of the child will receive the results.

If you are opting for Clinician-Administered tests (note: Self-administered tests are generally recommended over clinician administered tests due to its comparable effectiveness and decreased patient discomfort), then you may require requires clinician availability (e.g., Physicians, Physician assistants and nurse practitioners, Nurses such as RNs or LVNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, Medical Assistants).

Arrange Shipping icon. Arrange shipping

Collection sites are responsible for arranging shipping for samples to the CDPH Color Laboratory Network (CLN).

There are 2 options for sending samples to CLN

1) Use your own courier / transportation service
It is advised to utilize a courier / transportation service that is authorized to ship Category B Infectious Substances; a list of potential couriers can be found at Category B Infectious Substances Couriers in California (PDF).

2) Drop-off samples at a CCN drop-box near you
The State of California has developed the California COVID-19 Courier Network (CCN) through which collection sites will be able to drop off samples at a nearby CCN drop-box location. For more details on potential state transportation support, please see here.

If you have been approved as a State partner, please direct questions around using CCN drop-boxes to and
NOTE: For planning purposes, a 100-kit ship-back box fully filled 100 kits is 12” x 12” x 10” and approximately 6lbs and a 200-kit ship back box fully filled with 200 kits is 12” x 12” x 20” and approximately 12lbs.

While it is possible to ‘hand-deliver’ samples to the lab, it is strongly advised against unless the individual delivering the samples has appropriate hazmat training.