COVID-19 tests available in vending machines at UCLA

Results come back in less than a day.

Between classes at UCLA, students might stop by an on-campus vending machine to grab a snack, a soda or, now, a COVID-19 test.

A dozen vending machines on campus provide free COVID-19 tests for students, faculty and staff.

To use the test kit, individuals provide a saliva sample, deposit it into a bin near the vending machine and register their test on their smartphone. Less than 24 hours later, they receive a text letting them know their results are available.

A dozen vending machines on the UCLA campus provide free COVID-19 tests for students, faculty and staff. (Photo by Joshua Sudock/UCLA Health)

These self-administered tests rely on technology pioneered at UCLA Health. Called SwabSeq, this sequencing technology is quicker and less expensive than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, but just as accurate. UCLA’s diagnostics lab can process up to 150,000 tests a day using SwabSeq.

UCLA recently won a $13.3 million contract from the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative to further expand SwabSeq’s COVID-19 test processing capacity.

SwabSeq also analyzes COVID-19 saliva tests for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Pepperdine University and UC Santa Barbara.

Get the latest information on COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.


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