An Update on COVID-19 Over-the-counter Tests

Jan 14, 2022 | 2022, Access, COVID-19

In today’s environment, a negative COVID-19 test may unlock welcome entry into many places, such as family gatherings, school programs, and some in-person events. Recently, the Biden-Harris Administration expanded coverage for over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Beginning Jan. 15, 2022, Sutter Health Plus covers COVID-19 screening for members in accordance with state and federal guidelines during this public health emergency. This includes FDA-authorized OTC COVID-19 tests available for purchase directly through pharmacies, retailers or online. Sutter Health Plus limits coverage of OTC COVID-19 tests bought without a prescription or clinical assessment by a provider to eight (8) tests per member, per one-month period. While members can purchase the tests without a prescription or other clinical assessment by a provider, Sutter Health Plus encourages members to contact their primary care physician (PCP) to see if testing is recommended for their particular situation. There are no quantity limits when a treating physician orders a test as part of an individual clinical assessment.

In-person testing capacity is currently limited in many regions due to high demand. While individuals have several options for COVID-19 testing, including licensed retail and community sites, at-home antigen tests are gradually becoming more readily available.  

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination and Test Results
Members who received their COVID-19 vaccination(s) or testing with Sutter can view and share proof of their COVID-19 vaccination(s) or test results easily from My Health Online. After signing in, members can click the Menu button, scroll to My Record and select COVID-19 to view details. Visit Sutter’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resources page for more information.

Additionally, all members can go to California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record site to get a link to a QR code and digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record.

Health and Safety
This current surge in COVID-19 cases is causing concern among many community members. It’s important to remember that the best way for individuals to protect themselves and others from serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted. Especially as those that are vaccinated are much less likely to require hospitalization if they become ill with COVID-19. We also encourage everyone to continue to practice good public health practices and wear a mask when in indoor spaces with others.

Additional Resources
For up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit: