SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo County health officials ask community members to avoid making a COVID-19 test appointment at a free clinic for travel-related reasons unless the individual has symptoms or believes they have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone who is asymptomatic and wants to get tested before the Thanksgiving holiday should do so via an at-home self-swab test, officials say.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the County’s free testing clinics no longer have same-day or next-day appointments, which is causing problems for individuals who have symptoms or have been exposed and urgently need a free test.

“We appreciate that people want to get tested and know their health status before any planned Thanksgiving celebrations or travel, but our free testing sites are now booked solid through Thanksgiving, which is making it difficult for people who have symptoms or think they’ve been exposed to get a free test quickly,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. 

“If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms or have not been exposed to COVID-19, please consider taking a self swab via an at-home test to allow those who urgently need to get tested an opportunity to get a free test,” she added. “Likewise, if you have symptoms and cannot make a same-day or next-day appointment at one of our free clinics, please call your local urgent care or primary care physician, or consider self-swabbing via an at-home test kit.”


The Public Health Department continues to encourage anyone who has symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to get tested to help slow the spread of the disease. 

For links to at-home self-swab tests and more information about testing, visit

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.