There are several laboratories and clinics in Oaxaca City where you can get COVID testing done. This article is about COVID-19 testing sites in Oaxaca City specifically for those needing COVID-19 testing for entry into the US.
We’re leaving Oaxacity City after living here for 3 months and had the option of flying into TIJ or take a direct flight from OAX to LAX.
COVID-19 Testing Requirement for US Entry
The requirement is based on the airline flying you to your destination. As of this writing (May 2021), you can still fly into the Tijuana airport (TIJ) and cross the CBX bridge without having to show a negative COVID-19 test.
If you’re flying into a US airport, such as when you take a Volaris flight from OAX directly to LAX, you’ll have to show a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to board.
COVID-19 Testing for Flying
There are a lot of diferent COVID-19 tests out there. You are required to have the nasopharyngeal swab done, which is available in 2 types.
There is antigen testing which is called Prueba de antigenos COVID-19 and there is the PCR test which is Prueba diagnostica PCR en tiempo real.
If you can just recall antigeno and PCR, you should be fine. Both are currently accepted for boarding and entry into the US.
However, you can’t do a blood test. The serologies aren’t approved, yet. So if you did a blood test or finger stick or anything of that sort, as of this writing, it wouldn’t be accepted.
Scheduling Your COVID-19 Test at Salud Digna
You can schedule your COVID-19 test in Oaxaca City online in most places. We chose Salud Digna because others had good experience with it. But we have also done COVID-19 testing at other locations which I’ll mention below.
The link for scheduling online is here for Salud Digna. Make sure they have slots available, but it seems that they often have many.
You’ll need the test 3 days before you fly. It doesn’t have to be exact, if it’s a little before or after the 72-hour mark, they often aren’t terribly strict.
The PCR right now is reported to take 72 hours and the antigen test only 2 hours. So it makes sense to choose the antigen since both are accepted for COVID-19 testing for entry into the US.
Getting a Nasopharyngeal Swab at Salud Digna
They were very professional. They showed us that the swab was new, in a sealed envelope.
The test was laid out and it was the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test.
Your mask is on until they verify your name and DOB. Then you pull the mask down over your mouth, exposing the nostrils. Lean your head against the backrest, and they insert the swab horizontal to the floor, all the way to the pharyngeal wall and twist it both directions.
It’s uncomfortable but not worse than your usual sinus irritation you might suffer every once in a while.
COVID-19 Testing Costs
It was 950 pesos or just under 50 USD to have the PCR done. And it cost 260 pesos or a little over 10 USD to have the antigen testing done.
You can pay online using your credit card. American Express didn’t work for us but other credit cards did.
At other labs, you’ll see similar prices. Some are as high as 1,500 pesos and others as low as 250 pesos. But few other clinics or labs were as organized as Salud Digna, based on our experience.
The Check-in Process for COVID-19 Testing
We had 1:10 pm appointments on a Wednesday before our Saturday flight. We checked in with the security guard who told us to have a seat and that our names would be called for checking in.
They were just a little behind but by 1:25 pm they called us up to the window. We verified our information and were told to sit back down with a receipt which had a bar code on it.
They spoke both English and Spanish. And if they didn’t they gave us pre-printed instructions in English.
Getting Your COVID-19 Results
While waiting we entered Salud Digna’s number into WhatsApp which allowed us to obtain our results through their automated chat. Super cool.
Once we got the swabs done, we texted the numeric bar code to the WhatsApp number. They replied and asked for our DOB. Then they said they would notify us by text as soon as the results were available.
3 hours after the test we got text messages with a full copy of the PDF report. Both negative and dated and stamped and signed.
Other COVID-19 Testing Sites in Oaxaca City
The experience was great. I wanted to know if I had immunity after my single vaccine and used my girlfriend as a guinea pig since she had both shots.
Their antigen test was 1,000 pesos and the PCR was 2,300 pesos.
The anticuerpos test is the antibody test which is a blood test. It cost just 800 pesos. They will email you the results and you can also pick up the paper copy. It takes 3 days to come back.
They have the anticuerpos test in the STAT version which comes back in 3 hours. It costs 1,000 pesos.