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Drive-through antigen testing coming to Irvine this month

By Ann Frances –

Photo: FDA Newsroom via Flicker

Story Update: On May 26, the Irvine City Council voted unanimously not to approve the below-mentioned COVID-19 testing program, partnering with U.S. Health Fairs.


Drive-through antigen testing will begin in Irvine the week of May 26, the result of a May 12 decision by city leaders. The test will be free for all Irvine residents, regardless of whether or not they are presenting symptoms of COVID-19.

The most recent FDA-authorized coronavirus diagnostic test, antigen testing is used for the rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19. According to the FDA, unlike polymerase chain reaction tests which seek the presence of the genetic material in the virus, or serological tests that show if the body has developed antibodies–both of which take time to yield results, antigen testing homes in on the virus itself and can produce results in minutes.

Antibody testing will be available at the Irvine testing site as an add-on option for a fee of $10.

Vice Mayor Mike Carroll brought the free testing initiative to the council, and in a statement released by the city he said, “We want to extend testing to as many people as possible; adding antigen and antibody testing will reinforce the expansive health and safety efforts we have put in place since day one.” The city council unanimously approved the antigen testing.

The Orange County Great Park will be the site of the drive-through antigen testing center, which will accommodate cars, bicycles and walk-ups. The city says that details on how to register for an appointment will be available in the next few days. Irvine Indy will update this story as the information is released.

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