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COVID-19 Testing Kits Arrive at State Public Health Laboratories

Date: February 28, 2020
Number: NR20-007
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov
Photos and Video of Public Health Department's Richmond Lab Available

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health announced today that new CDC test kits used to detect Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) now available in California can be used to do diagnostic testing in the community. California will immediately receive an additional shipment of kits to test up to 1,200 people. 

"These new testing protocols and resources will help California medical experts identify and treat COVID-19 cases, trace potential exposures and better protect public health," said Governor Newsom. "I am grateful to the CDC and federal government for quickly heeding our state's requests and assisting California's response to this evolving situation."


"The availability to test at California's public health laboratories is a significant step forward in our ability to respond rapidly to this evolving situation," said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer. "As we face the likelihood of community transmission here in California, having this resource where we need it, is essential to better inform public health response and protect our communities."


The California Department of Public Health has been prepared and is continuing with the following actions as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves:

  • Activating the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts across the state.
  • Continuing to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners, hospitals and physicians.
  • Deploying staff to assist with contact tracing in Solano and Sacramento counties for a patient whose source of infection is unknown.
  • Providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California.
  • Coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine.
  • Engaging with local health departments in managing suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients over the past several weeks.


Beyond the work of health officials, each and every person can take steps to reduce the risk of becoming infected with this virus.

  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.


If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and has reason to believe they may have been exposed, they should call their health care provider or local health department before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk.


For more information about novel coronavirus including various resources, please visit the CDPH website.


If you are interested in photos of the California Department of Public Health's state laboratory in Richmond (from earlier this month), please send your request to CDPHPressOPA@cdph.ca.gov.

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