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nextcare-urgent-care-arizona-virtual-visit

Nextcare Urgent Care, Arizona Virtual Visit

Nextcare Urgent Care

4.75(4.8k reviews)
1138 N Alma School Rd, Mesa, AZ 852011138 N Alma School Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

This was my first telemedicine appointment and I am very pleased. The provider was very thorough and took her time to get the best diagnosis. I will definitely try it again if the need arises. Thank you!
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Mesa, AZ

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in Mesa and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.

COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Mesa, AZ

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in Mesa and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.
<strong>COVID testing & Rapid testing near me</strong> in Mesa, AZ Illustration
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nextcare-urgent-care-arizona-virtual-visit

Nextcare Urgent Care, Arizona Virtual Visit

Nextcare Urgent Care

4.75(4.8k reviews)
1138 N Alma School Rd, Mesa, AZ 852011138 N Alma School Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

This was my first telemedicine appointment and I am very pleased. The provider was very thorough and took her time to get the best diagnosis. I will definitely try it again if the need arises. Thank you!
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Video Visits
4.8
113

Care so fast, you'll still be in your PJs

As low as $49 per visit

Recent 5-star patient review

I was seen quickly, without being in a waiting room for hours! Friendly and thorough, an amazing patient experience!

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dispatchhealth-phoenix

DispatchHealth, Phoenix

DispatchHealth

4.8(37k reviews)
At-home urgent care
Servicing the Phoenix areaAt home urgent care
OpenSun 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Book online
PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
allkids-urgent-care-stapley

AllKids Urgent Care, Stapley

AllKids Urgent Care

4.7(1.4k reviews)
1455 S Stapley Dr, Mesa, AZ 852041455 S Stapley Dr
OpenSun 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Sat12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Sun12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everyone took great care of my son. They took time to test and retest. Everyone was friendly and patient. I’ll definitely come back again next time we need quick care for one of our kiddos!
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
nextcare-urgent-care-north-mesa

NextCare Urgent Care, North Mesa

NextCare Urgent Care

4.7(3.1k reviews)
535 E McKellips Rd, Mesa, AZ 85203535 E McKellips Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everything was super organized and I got in right away! The staff was very efficient and had amazing attitudes!! Such a positive experience.
lifespann-urgent-care-and-walk-ins-primary-care-esthetics-gilbert

Lifespann Urgent Care and Walk-Ins, Primary Care & Esthetics : Gilbert

Lifespann Urgent Care and Walk-Ins

5.0(4 reviews)
2451 E Baseline Rd, Gilbert, AZ 852342451 E Baseline Rd
View hours of operation
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online
Bill Icon

Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$239
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$130
nextcare-urgent-care-mesa-e-baseline-rd

NextCare Urgent Care, Mesa (E Baseline Rd)

NextCare Urgent Care

4.73(868 reviews)
3130 E Baseline Rd, Mesa, AZ 852043130 E Baseline Rd
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
  • TueClosed
  • WedClosed
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

The staff is amazing and very friendly!! Got us in and out very quickly!!! That is the best urgent care facility!!!
nextcare-urgent-care-oak

NextCare Urgent Care, Oak

NextCare Urgent Care

4.54(3.1k reviews)
2122 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 852572122 N Scottsdale Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Woke up with ear pain Arrived at 8:03 in and out in less than an hour Staff very nice especially the assistant in back
gateway-urgent-care-telemedicine-virtual-visit

Gateway Urgent Care, TeleMedicine - Virtual Visit

Gateway Urgent Care

4.79(188 reviews)
920 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85295920 E Williams Field Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 3:45 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 3:45 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Staff here are very helpful. Health advise is great. All good!
gateway-urgent-care

Gateway Urgent Care

Gateway Urgent Care

4.81(2.8k reviews)
920 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85295920 E Williams Field Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Kristen is fantastic and i felt much easier and comfortable talking to her and felt like she was really listening to what i was saying and caring…i did not want to come but i actually am glad that the experience i had was this good and i will definitely refer my family and friends to this one! thank you kristen for restoring my faith in the healthcare system😊
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
nextcare-urgent-care-mesa-n-power-rd

NextCare Urgent Care, Mesa (N Power Rd)

NextCare Urgent Care

4.77(8.8k reviews)
1066 N Power Rd, Mesa, AZ 852051066 N Power Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Waiting was kind of long. Was in the facility 3 hours 😞😞😜
nextcare-urgent-care-dobson

NextCare Urgent Care, Dobson

NextCare Urgent Care

4.62(7.4k reviews)
600 S Dobson Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224600 S Dobson Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

My son had a terrible toothache. The urgent care that was under my insurance were all closed due to it being the weekend and evening. They took him right in and gave enough pain meds to hold him over until he could get a dental appointment.
nextcare-urgent-care-phoenix-arcadia

NextCare Urgent Care, Phoenix (Arcadia)

NextCare Urgent Care

4.66(2.2k reviews)
4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 850184730 E Indian School Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Very happ with the service!! Thorough and efficient!! I was an early morning walk in an services covered by insurance.
nextcare-urgent-care-camelback

NextCare Urgent Care, Camelback

NextCare Urgent Care

4.71(2.2k reviews)
3931 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 850183931 E Camelback Rd
OpenSun 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Mon 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Sun 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

We had an appointment and waited almost an hour. Frustrating.
nextcare-urgent-care-ocotillo

NextCare Urgent Care, Ocotillo

NextCare Urgent Care

4.71(2.9k reviews)
1155 W Ocotillo Rd, Chandler, AZ 852481155 W Ocotillo Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Front desk person was rude and very unfriendly. The rest of the crew in the backside were friendly and very approachable. I’ve been to this location a few times and the problem is always the first point of contact. They are rude and unapproachable. If you can ignore them and wait to see the rest of the team, you’ll be much happier.
nextcare-urgent-care-shea

NextCare Urgent Care, Shea

NextCare Urgent Care

4.57(3.4k reviews)
7425 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 852607425 E Shea Blvd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

They took good care of me and helped more than the ER!o
nextcare-urgent-care-phoenix-e-thomas-rd

NextCare Urgent Care, Phoenix (E Thomas Rd)

NextCare Urgent Care

4.45(6.3k reviews)
1701 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 850161701 E Thomas Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everything was ok, just not happy that there was no staff for xrays.
alphamed-biltmore

AlphaMeD, Biltmore

AlphaMeD

4.88(340 reviews)
1743 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 850161743 E Camelback Rd
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:15 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

This is my place to get my treatment and get cure.walk in no appointment was made
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$119
Antigen Test
Results in 15 min
$119
nextcare-urgent-care-higley

NextCare Urgent Care, Higley

NextCare Urgent Care

4.64(2.9k reviews)
6343 S Higley Rd, Gilbert, AZ 852986343 S Higley Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I had a great experience from check in to check out. I highly recommend this Urgent Care.
urgent-care-24-7-phoenix

Urgent Care 24/7, Phoenix

Urgent Care 24/7

4.4(668 reviews)
320 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004320 E McDowell Rd
OpenSun 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Book online
Bill Icon

Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

No more surprise bills. Solv is committed to making getting healthcare as easy as buying groceries at the store, including knowing the price of care upfront.

PCR Test
Results in < 1 hour
$199
Antigen Test
Results in 15 min
$149
nextcare-urgent-care-apache-junction

NextCare Urgent Care, Apache Junction

NextCare Urgent Care

4.57(3.8k reviews)
2080 W Southern Ave, Apache Junction, AZ 851202080 W Southern Ave
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

This place is very clean. The staff is very competent & friendly. The staff was very professional & friendly.
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Great healthcare professionals who treat you like a neighbor (because they are).

VIDEO: Dr. Isaac Thomsen, pediatric infectious disease specialist, discusses COVID-19 and Delta variant and what in means for kids.Watch now!

Latest COVID Testing updates

May 10, 2022
The nation's flu positivity test rate reached nearly 10 percent in mid-April, making it the first time such an increase has occurred so late in the flu season since 1982 (NBC News)
May 6, 2022
The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, according to a preprint version of a large U.S. study that counters assumptions in other studies that it was more transmissible but less severe. (Reuters)

COVID Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost?

    In many cases, COVID testing can be free. Many state and local health departments continue to offer free testing to community residents as part of their response to the pandemic. In other cases, commercially insured patients, or those on Medicare or Medicaid, may receive testing at no out of pocket cost, or with a nominal office visit copay. For cash paying patients, or those that need rapid COVID testing which will deliver results in under an hour, COVID tests can range from $50 to $150 each. It is best to call your healthcare provider prior to getting tested to better understand the cost of the specific test you require.

  • Where can I get free COVID testing in Mesa?

    COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. Check with your Mesa-area health department as they are generally a good source for free COVID tests, or can at least point you in the right direction. Additionally, you can ask your primary care provider to recommend a free COVID test site.

  • Where can I get COVID testing in Mesa?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Mesa including urgent care centers, retail clinics, primary care offices, health departments, and more. Different venues will have different types of tests available, many at different price points. Some testing sites are allowing walk-in patients, however, many are still requiring some degree of advance booking to control patient volume.

  • Where can I get a rapid COVID test in Mesa?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many Mesa-area urgent care centers and physician offices, usually at an additional cost ranging from $50 up to $150 per test. Usually this will allow you to get results back in under an hour, and require advanced booking through the provider. However, if you can wait 24 hours for your results, many labs are turning around send-out lab tests in that time frame, which could save you some money.

  • How to make an appointment for COVID testing in Mesa?

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Mesa are bookable directly through Solv. Simply browse the list of healthcare providers conducting COVID tests above, find one with a “Book Online” button, and book a time that aligns with your schedule stating “COVID-19 Test” as your reason for visit.

  • Can I get tested for antibodies if I am sick with COVID-19?

    An antibody test for COVID-19 might inform you if you previously had a coronavirus infection. Because it can take between 1–3 weeks after an infection for your body to develop these antibodies, an antibody test during an active infection would not be successful. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test.

  • Do I need a COVID test if I have been vaccinated?

    Even if you have been fully vaccinated, if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, experts believe that you should be tested yourself, particularly if you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms commonly aligned with the coronavirus.

  • How long does COVID testing take?

    Getting a COVID test is quick. Most tests are done with a nasal swab, which takes less than a minute to swab both nostrils. Depending on where you get your COVID test, this means you could be in and out of the testing site in as little as 10-15 minutes. During busy times—particularly around holidays—testing sites may be busier than usual and wait times may be longer.

  • How long does it take to get COVID test results?

    Most labs are returning send-out molecular (PCR) COVID test results within 24-48 hours of the test. Some sites take longer, so call and ask if the reason for the test is proof for travel. Rapid COVID tests are processed on-site and are able to deliver results in under an hour, sometimes in as little as 15 min.

  • Do COVID tests detect the Delta variant and Omicron variant?

    Regular COVID tests are able to detect both the Delta variant and Omicron variant in that they can determine whether or not you have the coronavirus. However, they can't tell which variation is involved. That would necessitate genomic sequencing, which is a different process from regular virus testing that not all labs can undertake. Sequencing is uncommon and can cost up to $100 per test. Since the treatment is the same for any variant, it is not clinically useful to an individual patient to know whether the infection was caused by a variant or not.

Recent COVID Testing reviews (20)

Best place to get treatment. Front desk excellent service. Tech who takes Covid test superb. Doctors outstanding. The doctor who treated me today was exceptional. I’ve been treated at this facility for several different times. Each doctor all are exceptional.

- Verified patient on 11/16

I arrived late at the clinic 30 minutes before it closed and they were busy. All I needed was a COVID test, but they took me anyway. They were professional, kind, and thorough. Highly recommend this clinic.

- Verified patient on 10/11

Even with the facility being a COVID testing center, they were great and timely dealing with my non-COVID needs.

- Verified patient on 6/15

Went in for covid test, in and out in no time. Way better than my doctor's office.

- Verified patient on 1/21

Came in an hour before my appointment time...but was ushered right in for my Covid test. So grateful...as was feeling really poorly.

- Verified patient on 11/11

I took my 3 year old daughter in to get a covid test- they got it us right back & all the staff was very friendly & kind

- Verified patient on 11/4

went in for Covid testing. got in even before appointment time straight to a room. Dr answered all of our questions.

- Verified patient on 10/23

I was seen virtually for a Sinus infection I have been in medical field for 30+ yrs myself PA was great but since I said my husband was coughing for past month. Allergies and works outside in major dust etc. She recommended I get Covid test. Umm. NO No wonder why people end up going to ER freaking out about normal mild illness. I have a sinus infection end of story ! Thanks for the meds to clear it up. Feeling much better after 2 doses already

- Verified patient on 11/10

Rapid covid test for whole family, one positive case. Staff were professional, friendly explained everything had results in minutes.

- Verified patient on 10/31

Went in for COVID TEST chris was fast and great. I would recommend Allkids to anyone that needs a compassionate and friendly office! The whole staff is compassionate.

- Verified patient on 2/1

This was amazing. We were really hesitant to take our daughter to the urgent care we frequent because it is a COVID testing facility as well. So we did the televisit option for a horrible bug bite. This feature is amazing! No fuss no rush. Visit in 10 mins and Rx already sent to pharmacy. Thank you!

- Verified patient on 5/13

Came in for COVID test. Disappointed you did not have the rapid test

- Verified patient on 12/25

I came for a COVID test. My mother was recently diagnosed and is now in an ICU on a ventilator. They staff was very sympathetic to my situation and very accommodating. Thank you to Candice and all the staff

- Verified patient on 11/2

For someone getting tested for COVID and having an appointment at 6:40, I did not feel that there was much concern about trying to get me in and out. They did not have a rapid Covid test, so I will look for one now.

- Verified patient on 10/6

Staff worked hard to fit me and fellow patients into a schedule crowded with COVID tests. The whole team operated with terrific efficiency but never got either hurried or unfriendly.

- Verified patient on 6/27

Went in for Covid testing. Nurse was very knowledgeable and professional.

- Verified patient on 10/20

Did a walk in Covid test had to wait of corse but when it was our turn they were so professional and answered all our questions and concerns

- Verified patient on 6/30

Just wanted a rush covid test so I can go see my nieces new baby...and I got it, it was negative... now I can hold the baby.

- Verified patient on 5/9

Advised I have symptoms of covid. Told clinic would call me in 5 mins to schedule covid test and no one has called me. Please help me!

- Verified patient on 12/4

I was told the wait would be 60-90 minutes and that 4 people were ahead of me. After waiting 70 minutes, I was told 3 people were ahead of me. After waiting 105 minutes I was told 4 people were ahead of me. When I asked how that was possible, the receptionist said things had not moved in the back for quite a while. I was finally called 2.5 hours after I had checked in. I understand having to wait, but it seems they were not going in order as I saw people come in way after me asking fir a COVID test and they were done before me.

- Verified patient on 12/28

Mesa COVID Testing & Rapid Testing

Types of COVID Tests

There are two types of coronavirus tests (COVID-19 tests) available, those that can test for a current infection (viral test) and those that can test for a past infection (antibody test).

Viral COVID testing can be done in a few different ways, the most common being nose swabs, but saliva tests are becoming more popular. Some tests are processed out on-site and can provide results in as little as 30 minutes. These are called rapid COVID tests. The majority of tests, on the other hand, are collected at the clinic on-site and then submitted to off-site labs for processing. Results can take up to 2-3 days to arrive. 

Antibody testing looks for a past infection and may not reveal if you have an active COVID-19 infection because antibodies can take up to three weeks to form in your body. The presence of COVID antibodies may help to prevent you from becoming infected with the same virus again; but, because the clinical understanding of COVID-19 is still developing, it's unclear how long that protection will continue.

Who should get tested for current infection

The CDC currently defines four instances where COVID testing is recommended:

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  2. If you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. If you have been vaccinated, or tested positive in the past 3 months and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to be tested.
  3. If you are unvaccinated and participated in high-risk activities where distancing is not an option. This could include travel, large social or mass gatherings, crowded indoor settings, etc.
  4. If you have been referred to get a COVID test by your healthcare provider or local health department. 

How is testing done for COVID-19?

Most COVID tests are collected by a nasal swab. A member of the medical team puts a swab inside your nose for a few seconds on each side to collect the sample. After that, the samples are packaged according to CDC guidelines and tested on-site or transported to a facility for testing. The lab will test samples for the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID infection and either your care provider or the lab will notify you with the results as soon as they are available.

PCR vs Antigen Testing

Viral COVID tests are available as molecular and antigen tests. The molecular test, also known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually delivers results within a few days since most of these tests are sent to offsite labs for analysis. The average turnaround time for PCR test results is 48 hours, but in some instances may be significantly longer due to backlogs related to insufficient lab volume and capacity. Antigen tests are also known as rapid tests and have an average turnaround time of between 15 to 30 minutes.

Both PCR and rapid COVID tests can be used to test people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, those who were close contacts to COVID-19, and those without COVID-19 symptoms who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as a nursing facility); or those individuals who are identified as part of outbreak detection and response. The rapid COVID test is also recommended for the screening of residents or healthcare workers at skilled nursing facilities along with a PCR confirmation, and for repeat screening for the early detection and prevention of outbreaks in congregate settings (such as schools, workplaces, and prisons).

COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. To reduce the risk of facing extra costs related to COVID testing, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a free COVID test site, and confirm there are no charges or fees for the test that are not covered by your insurance plan. Additionally, avoid getting a COVID test at a hospital or free-standing emergency room, as these facilities may charge fees for COVID testing and related services.

Rob Rohatsch
Medically reviewed by Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on May 25, 22

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