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Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine, Aurora

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine

4.27(164 reviews)
13650 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 8001213650 E Mississippi Ave
OpenSun 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Recent patient review

They’re so helpful.....
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Aurora, CO

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

COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Aurora, CO

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in Aurora and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.
<strong>COVID testing & Rapid testing near me</strong> in Aurora, CO Illustration
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rocky-mountain-urgent-care-family-medicine-aurora

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine, Aurora

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine

4.27(164 reviews)
13650 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 8001213650 E Mississippi Ave
OpenSun 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

They’re so helpful.....
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Video Visits
4.8
113

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

$79* per visit (only $49 for Solv Plus members)

Recent 5-star patient review

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

Book an available time
dispatchhealth-denver

DispatchHealth, Denver

DispatchHealth

4.8(37k reviews)
At-home urgent care
Servicing the Denver areaAt home urgent care
OpenSun 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I was extremely surprised when I first called at how quickly they responded to my request. Then, when the customer service agent told me that they could come to my door within hours, I was shocked at how prompt they were in scheduling the appointment at my own home. It was very professional, very pleasant, and I was very happy with their efficient service when they arrived at the house. We actually had a lot of fun.
PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
nextcare-urgent-care-aurora

NextCare Urgent Care, Aurora

NextCare Urgent Care

4.54(3.2k reviews)
18890 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 8001318890 E Hampden Ave
OpenSun 9:00 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 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I love the convenience of being able to set up an apt for urgent care. I was in and out fast. Everybody was nice and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend this place to friends and family.
rocky-mountain-urgent-care-family-medicine-centennial

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine, Centennial

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine

3.79(48 reviews)
20270 E Smoky Hill Rd, Centennial, CO 8001520270 E Smoky Hill Rd
View hours of operation
  • 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
  • Sat10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

Rachel was absolutely amazing! The same was so down to earth, they made me feel like I was heard and found a solution to my problem Less then 5 minutes
any-lab-test-now-centennial

Any Lab Test Now, Centennial

Any Lab Test Now

4.51(57 reviews)
10909 E Arapahoe Pl, Centennial, CO 8011210909 E Arapahoe Pl
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

It was quick and easy
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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
Rapid
Results in same day
$245
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$120
rocky-mountain-urgent-care-family-medicine-englewood

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine, Englewood

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine

3.5(2 reviews)
730 W Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80110730 W Hampden Ave
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online
onpoint-urgent-care-englewood

OnPoint Urgent Care, Englewood

OnPoint Urgent Care

4.74(367 reviews)
10120 E Dry Creek Rd, Englewood, CO 8011210120 E Dry Creek Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 7:00 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 - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Wait time depends upon the walking patients. A person shouldn't complain as Urgent care is just that- Urgent. My urgent needs happened to be on a Saturday so I wasn't upset about a longer wait. I recvd excellent diagnosis and x-rays and thorough followup. I am an OnPoint patient through my PCP, who also gives great care. The only thing I would recommend to Onpoint corporate is that the enable their urgent care satellites to access Onpoint patient records.
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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 1-5 days
$265
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
rocky-mountain-labs-englewood-centennial

Rocky Mountain Labs, Englewood/Centennial

Rocky Mountain Labs

4.83(250 reviews)
195 Inverness Dr W, Greenwood Village, CO 80112195 Inverness Dr W
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

Very nice, efficient and responsive even during the holiday rush. I will use them again and do recommend highly.
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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
Rapid
Results in same day
$350
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
onpoint-urgent-care-aurora

OnPoint Urgent Care, Aurora

OnPoint Urgent Care

4.62(1.1k reviews)
24300 E Smoky Hill Rd, Aurora, CO 8001624300 E Smoky Hill Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 7:00 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 - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 7:00 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 1-5 days
$265
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
any-lab-test-now-lab-testing-only-thornton

Any Lab Test Now - LAB TESTING ONLY, Thornton

Any Lab Test Now - LAB TESTING ONLY

4.57(168 reviews)
881 Thornton Pkwy, Denver, CO 80229881 Thornton Pkwy
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

The front desk lady was so helpful
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
Rapid
Results in same day
$245
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$120
nextcare-urgent-care-thornton

NextCare Urgent Care, Thornton

NextCare Urgent Care

4.56(2.7k reviews)
9720 Grant St, Thornton, CO 802299720 Grant St
OpenSun 9:00 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 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Amanda at front desk was very friendly and smiley and enjoyed her expertise!😀 Ms. Christianson(I forgot her first name🤔)I think an NP. Was absolutely Amazing! She knew right away to do and jumped on it immediately! I felt she really cared and had Amazing knowledge! She saved me from something that could have been fatal! She is my hero!🤗💕 I wish they sent me home with paperwork so I could look back m and put there names right on this! Wonderful experience! I rate them both 10++++++++++++++++++ Thank you both so much!
nextcare-urgent-care-colorado-virtual-visit

NextCare Urgent Care, Colorado Virtual Visit

NextCare Urgent Care

4.5(464 reviews)
9720 Grant St, Thornton, CO 802299720 Grant St
OpenSun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Bill was great and I’m grateful to have the convenient option of doing a virtual health visit from home.
nextcare-urgent-care-colfax

NextCare Urgent Care, Colfax

NextCare Urgent Care

4.64(1.2k reviews)
7595 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 802147595 W Colfax Ave
OpenSun 9:00 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 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Loved the staff! Felt that the wait was a bit long (full visit took around 90 minutes)
onpoint-urgent-care-lone-tree

OnPoint Urgent Care, Lone Tree

OnPoint Urgent Care

4.7(924 reviews)
9695 S Yosemite St, Lone Tree, CO 801249695 S Yosemite St
OpenSun 8:00 am - 7:00 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 - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Professional and caring-thank you!!!
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 1-5 days
$265
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
nextcare-urgent-care-arvada

NextCare Urgent Care, Arvada

NextCare Urgent Care

4.52(3.3k reviews)
7380 W 52nd Ave, Arvada, CO 800027380 W 52nd Ave
OpenSun 9:00 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 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I was feeling terrible, the made me feel comfortable during the diagnosis process. Medicine has helped.
rocky-mountain-labs-parker

Rocky Mountain Labs, Parker

Rocky Mountain Labs

4.95(44 reviews)
10841 S Crossroads Dr, Parker, CO 8013410841 S Crossroads Dr
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
  • TueClosed
  • WedClosed
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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Recent patient review

Service is pricey!! But no wait time and results arrived same day within hours!
onpoint-urgent-care-highlands-ranch

OnPoint Urgent Care, Highlands Ranch

OnPoint Urgent Care

4.65(1k reviews)
9205 S Broadway, Highlands Ranch, CO 801299205 S Broadway
OpenSun 8:00 am - 7:00 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 - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

My first experience at urgent care. I wish I had known I could make an appointment. I waited long time to be helped.
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 1-5 days
$265
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
rocky-mountain-urgent-care-family-medicine-westminster

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine, Westminster

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care & Family Medicine

4.29(80 reviews)
6080 W 92nd Ave, Westminster, CO 802216080 W 92nd Ave
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
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

The staff at Rocky Mountain Urgent Care have been great--efficient, kind, attentive and straightforward. The Solv app/web portal seems a little glitchy, and it isn't always the most intuitive, but these are issues that can be worked out, considering Solv is new to them.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
rocky-mountain-urgent-care-and-family-medicine-lakewood

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care and Family Medicine, Lakewood

Rocky Mountain Urgent Care and Family Medicine

3.78(85 reviews)
2595 S Lewis Way, Lakewood, CO 802272595 S Lewis Way
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 3:45 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online
afc-urgent-care-lakewood-colorado-virtual-visit

AFC Urgent Care Lakewood Colorado, Virtual Visit

AFC Urgent Care Lakewood Colorado

5.0(9 reviews)
12105 W Alameda Pkwy, Lakewood, CO 8022812105 W Alameda Pkwy
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
  • TueClosed
  • WedClosed
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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Recent patient review

I did the teleconference it was a very good but I did what the doctor told me. I call to the clinic for get tested and the response was it was closed so I had to get out of my car and talked to the receptionist that was not wearing masks that I had been called and I need to get tested. She said I’m sorry somebody will go to your car. I went to my car and I wait for 1/2 hour and call again. So a got an answer and no body did not know that I was waiting in my car for get a test. After 10 more minutes somebody came to test me.
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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 Aurora?

    COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. Check with your Aurora-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 Aurora?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Aurora 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 Aurora?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many Aurora-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 Aurora?

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Aurora 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)

The best and most reliable place to get a covid test. Easy to make appointments (once you figure out the online system) there are always appoints available. No wait. Very stress free process!

- Verified patient on 9/18

I come in for COVID testing due to international travel. The staff is always friendly and the experience always very good.

- Verified patient on 12/14

I had an appointment for a Covid test. I was pleased that from the time I checked in to when I got the results was less than an hour!

- Verified patient on 1/25

Came in for a Rapid Covid test! The staff was very nice and friendly! The test was quick and I had my results in 15 minutes or so!!!

- Verified patient on 4/17

Very accommodating and friendly staff. Had to reschedule a Covid test from Monday to the day of travel on Wednesday (i.e. rapid Covid test in-house), and the staff was able to deliver!

- Verified patient on 9/22

Needed a rapid covid test to travel, very easy to book the appt online. Staff was friendly and I was done with the visit and had my results within 30 minutes. Thank you!

- Verified patient on 10/24

I went for a Covid test because I was exposed. Over all it was good and what I expected.

- Verified patient on 12/20

I can’t say enough great things about Tanya Fedyshyn. I have anxiety when it comes to anything medical related.(I’m literally almost 30 but you wouldn’t know that if you saw me in a doctors office crying over a throat culture) She was extremely kind, understanding and created a safe space that allowed me to feel comfortable. I’m usually not a review person, but when you are literally telling anyone who will listen that you had a good experience during a covid test, it deserves a shout out!

- Verified patient on 10/21

As a truck driver far from home they was able to accomidate me to get a covid test when no one else would..thx

- Verified patient on 7/30

Facility and staff were great! However, charging $150 for a rapid COVID test I find outrageous. Feels like you’re taking advantage of people in a pandemic…

- Verified patient on 12/14

As an agency nurse, I have to go once or twice a week for Covid testing and they have accommodated me . I REALLY appreciate it.

- Verified patient on 1/23

Needed a rapid Covid test and they got me in the same day!! Thanks!

- Verified patient on 9/18

They were very efficient from check in to covid testing. Well done.

- Verified patient on 11/8

This is was a great way to get a Covid Test, quick and effortless

- Verified patient on 11/23

I went in for a Covid Test . They had me in and out within 5 minutes

- Verified patient on 11/6

just had the covid test so didn’t see doctor but everyone professional friendly & courtesy

- Verified patient on 11/14

Curbside rapid covid test was easy. Thank you for offering this service!

- Verified patient on 5/29

It was recommended by my daughter to go there for a rapid result Covid test. Everything went smoothly. The staff was great!

- Verified patient on 10/14

The Dr. was so informative about the Covid tests and why she gave my wife and I different tests. She was very personable as well as professional! All interaction with staff was great!!

- Verified patient on 1/26

Busy because of Covid testing but when I got in the service was great

- Verified patient on 1/3

Aurora 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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