COVID-19 testing update: Omicron surge may cause delays

January 3rd, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s COVID-19 updates
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Kaiser Permanente
The highly contagious omicron variant is spreading rapidly throughout the country. This has caused a surge in demand for COVID-19 testing at Kaiser Permanente and other health care organizations. Unfortunately, there may be longer than usual wait times for testing at our facilities — even if you have an appointment. We’re doing everything we can to meet this high and growing demand.

If you need a COVID-19 test, you have several options. You can use an FDA-approved, at-home test or schedule a test on You can also go to non–Kaiser Permanente testing locations in the community.

Please don’t go to urgent care or the emergency department for testing — only members who need immediate care should go to those locations.

If you get a positive test result or are exposed to COVID-19, please follow the instructions below — and check with your state’s official guidelines for updates as they happen.

For everyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status

  • Stay home for 5 days
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your home
  • Continue to wear a mask anytime around others for at least 5 additional days
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves without the need for fever-reducing medications
What to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19
If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have been boosted or completed your primary two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or received the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days
  • Test on day 5, if possible
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home

If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are not vaccinated or have been vaccinated but you received your Pfizer or Moderna two-dose primary series more than 6 months ago or received the J&J vaccine over two months ago and have not been boosted:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days
  • Test on day 5 if possible
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home
Vaccine boosters can help you stay safe

Getting vaccinated — and getting a booster dose when you’re eligible — is still essential for protecting yourself, your family, and your community. You can book your appointment by visiting

You can also get vaccinated and boosted at retail pharmacies or providers outside Kaiser Permanente if that’s the quickest option for you. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and what you can do to protect yourself, visit

Staying safe through the surge

Public health officials and Kaiser Permanente’s infectious disease experts recommend staying close to home because of how fast the omicron variant is currently spreading. Avoid unnecessary travel and gathering with people outside your household. In addition to getting vaccinated, getting a booster, and wearing a mask in public indoor settings, the best way to protect yourself and your family is by limiting your exposure to the virus.

We’re doing everything we can to test and vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can — so you can have a safe and healthy new year.