SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — With demands for testing during the recent COVID surge soaring, Marin County health officials announced Saturday they would be opening a new drive-thru test location at the Civic Center.

Six locations were announced on December 17, and a seventh location that will operate five days per week is set to open on Wednesday.

The new drive-through testing location offers FDA-authorized pain-free swabbing that is self-administered. Instead of doing nasal swabs, residents will simply open a swab package, cough deeply three to five times and swab inside each cheek, upper and lower gum, underneath and on top of the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.

The swab is then placed inside a biohazard bag and returned to a test site worker. Results are returned within 72 hours by email or text.

The new site is located at the “Armory Parking Lot” along Civic Center Drive in San Rafael (commonly referred to as the Jury parking lot which is east of the Marin County Civic Center and just south of Lagoon Park). The site will operate 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

In addition to the new site in San Rafael, officials were expanding the operating hours of its San Geronimo testing location, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, adding four additional hours of testing appointments. To accommodate the longer schedule, the location will move just down the road to the San Geronimo Golf Course.

All testing sites run by Marin County in partnership with Curative Inc. remain free, but appointments must be scheduled in advance through the Curative website (available in English and Spanish).

Appointment slots open about 3-4 days in advance of each scheduled testing day. The updated schedule of Marin County -based Curative test sites includes:

  • Bolinas: Mondays, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM; Bolinas Fire Station (100 Mesa Road)
  • Larkspur: Thursdays starting January 7, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Piper Park (250 Doherty Drive)
  • Novato: Fridays starting January 8, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Novato Library (1720 Novato Boulevard)
  • San Anselmo: Tuesdays, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; United Market (100 Red Hill Avenue)
  • San Geronimo: Mondays, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; San Geronimo Golf Course parking lot (5800 Sir Francis Drake Blvd)
  • San Rafael: Starting January 6; Armory Parking Lot (Armory Drive) — Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Sausalito: Wednesdays starting January 6, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Sausalito City Hall (420 Litho Street)