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COVID Testing & Rapid Testing
in Illinois

COVID Test
Time to Result
Hours
Rating
Patient types
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20 instant-book locations

779 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60661779 W Adams St
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.64(11 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

Midwest Express Clinic, West Loop- IL - 779 W Adams St, Chicago
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 606221520 N Damen Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.6(1.4k reviews)
Midwest Express Clinic, Bucktown-Wicker Park- IL - 1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

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2868 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 606572868 N Broadway
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.5(1.1k reviews)
Midwest Express Clinic, Lakeview- IL - 2868 N Broadway, Chicago
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

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3301 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 606573301 N Ashland Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.7(857 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

Midwest Express Clinic, Roscoe Village- IL - 3301 N Ashland Ave, Chicago
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

5521 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 606295521 S Kedzie Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.8(429 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

Midwest Express Clinic, Gage Park- IL - 5521 S Kedzie Ave
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

4070 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 606414070 N Milwaukee Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
5.0(10 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

Midwest Express Clinic, Portage Park- IL - 4070 N Milwaukee Ave
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

3258 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 606553258 W 111th St
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.8(1.5k reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

Midwest Express Clinic, Mount Greenwood- IL - 3258 W 111th St
Went for Covid test. Service could not have been more professional and friendly I highly recommend them.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

2338 W Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 606452338 W Morse Ave
Open until 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
4.7(1k reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

Family Urgent Care, West Rogers Park - Chicago - 2338 W Morse Ave
Quick and easy online booking, friendly staff and providers, and got me on my way with a Paxlovid scrip in less than an hour from the time I walked in. Plus, this seems to be an independent group (only 2 other locations in Chicagoland) rather than a big chain, which is always a plus to me. Would recommend.
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Self-pay pricing

Solv ClearPrice™
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
$200
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$260

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

2338 W Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 606452338 W Morse Ave
Open until 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
4.63(285 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

Family Urgent Care, Virtual Visit - 2338 W Morse Ave
COVID Test
Results in < 1 hour

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

2408 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 606082408 W Cermak Rd
Open until 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
4.62(79 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

Cermak Immediate Care, Western - 2408 W Cermak Rd
PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

219 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654219 W Chicago Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.46(26 reviews)
Midwest Express Clinic, River North- IL - 219 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
Not our toxic part of relationship, marriage we will always talk about publicly. Well it doesn't matter this is my confidence appreciation to Tunde for what he did for me during my hard time in my relationship. I bet y'all everything is working like never before since I visited his page which a colleague of mine get me to know about. I want someone out there to get to know this awesome man he's a traditionalist I believe in spirituality.Thank you can reach out to him via email [email protected] or his WhatsApp number +1(323) 487-9072
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

5240 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 606305240 N Pulaski Rd
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Midwest Express Clinic, Mayfair- IL - 5240 N Pulaski Rd
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

1016 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 606071016 W Jackson Blvd
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 12:45 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 12:45 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 12:45 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 12:45 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 12:45 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
5.0(1 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

The Kingsley Clinic, Illinois Telemed - 1016 W Jackson Blvd
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

6545 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 606386545 W Archer Ave
View hours of operation
  • Mon 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Thu 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Fri 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
4.97(34 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

First Choice Immediate Care, Chicago - Archer Ave - 6545 W Archer Ave
Everyone was super nice and very concerning and took the time to talk and listen to you.
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

4326 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 606414326 W Montrose Ave
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:15 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:15 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:15 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:15 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:15 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
4.53(19 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

American Indian Health Service Of Chicago, Virtual Visit - 4326 W Montrose Ave
Staff is most accommodating and the follow-through and follow-up is thorough. I feel the staff are professional, informed, and listen well. Their personal touch and compassion is evident in their interactions. The 4 medicines in the "care bag" is very much appreciated! Miigwech wiidookawiyaang! (Thank you for helping us)
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

1631 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 606141631 N Halsted St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SunClosed
  • Jul 23 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Jul 25 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
4.39(907 reviews)
Family Urgent Care, Lincoln Park - Chicago - 1631 N Halsted St, Chicago
The staff here were fantastic! Kind, competent, and easy to talk to. I will definitely be going back!
Bill Icon

Self-pay pricing

Solv ClearPrice™
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
$200
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$260

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

6239 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 606386239 S Archer 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
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • SunClosed
Midwest Express Clinic, Garfield Ridge- IL - 6239 S Archer Ave
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

3314 S Cicero Ave, Cicero, IL 608043314 S Cicero Ave
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.38(48 reviews)
Midwest Express Clinic, Cicero- IL - 3314 S Cicero Ave
This is the first place I actually liked everything was very clean people were friendly. Mostly loved how the nurses cleaned up and sanitizer before I entered the exam room. I really appreciated because it makes me feel safe and I know the person after will be safe as well! You guys are doing great! Keep up the good work! I know it isn't easy by how many people filled up the lobby In 10 minutes. Thanks again!
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

5741 W Cermak Rd, Cicero, IL 608045741 W Cermak Rd
Open until 9:45 pm
  • Mon 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Thu 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Fri 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Sat 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
  • Sun 7:00 am - 9:45 pm
4.7(10k reviews)
Cermak Immediate Care, Cicero - 5741 W Cermak Rd
Good and friendly and fast attention, the workers are polite
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online

7343 Lake St, River Forest, IL 603057343 Lake St
Open until 6:00 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
4.8(1k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

Midwest Express Clinic, River Forest- IL - 7343 Lake St
Excellent Service highly recommend it
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Results in same day

AVAILABLE TIMES

Book online
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Help patients book appointments with you on Solv. It's free!

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Recent COVID-19 Testing Reviews (20)

I scheduled an appointment for a rapid Covid test due to an exposure on Tuesday. I thought I was signing up for a drive in test but was instead routed to the Emergency Clinic. I was charged $20 for a co-pay which made me mad since the website stated it was free. I was then put in a room and a full blown office visit was performed and probably charged to my insurance. I told the nurse and the nurse practitioner that my exposure was limited, that I had no symptoms and I wanted a rapid test so I could go back to watching my grandson. The nurse practitioner said they performed the test that would take AT LEAST 2 days for a result. I expressed my displeasure and asked for a rapid test which I asked for all along. The nurse practitioner finally agreed but expressed her dissatisfaction as she walked out the door. When the very kind nurse returned I again apologized and reiterated that I was signed up for just a drive through rapid test. After assuring me the test results would be about 15 minutes, I was called with my negative result an hour later.

- Verified patient on 1/31

I booked an appointment for the COVID test because of possible exposure. The entire staff was amicable and accommodating - I was 15 minutes late due to traffic. Sorry!!! I met Dr. Sin via a tablet where I explained my exposure concern; she told me I should have the test to be safe and put my mind at ease. The rapid results were nearly instantaneous, which was terrific (and negative)! I'm just waiting on my PCR results to be double sure. The process to book an appointment online was SUPER simple. The staff was great, the facility was clean, and I was out of there so quickly. The only thing to recommend and is minor is to add in the address that the location was on the second floor of the plaza.

- Verified patient on 11/13

Everything was simple to do online. There was a slight wait past my appointment time. The staff was friendly. I didn’t really understand why the doctor had to come in. The nurse got more info from me. I barely saw him. I specifically came for a rapid result Covid test. I also took a PCR at Walgreens where I just took the test in the drive through. I did like that you tested for other infections and of course the best part was the quick response. I have no concept what costs are for these things because I have good insurance. So, I don’t know if this was reasonable or not. I have never used an immediate care before so I can’t tell if I would recommend it over any others.

- Verified patient on 9/17

The wait time was awesome due to no one but staff being there. She was friendly AF without being annoying, just doing what needs to be done. As far as bedside manner, for this type of procedure, I really didn't require much so there isn't much to say there. It smelled like backed up toilet. I'm familiar with these old chicago buildings so every corner of this venue could have been mopped and wiped down with pure chlorine bleach, it would still smell like backed up toilet. Still, a little disconcerting when you're entering a health care facility even if it is just for covid testing.

- Verified patient on 10/15

I went for a Covid test, which was a drive through appointment so I'm unable to comment on facility cleanliness. Making the appointment online was very quick and simple. I arrived a little early but they were able to see me immediately. First two staff members asked some brief questions and provided aftercare advice. The nurse that then did the web test was friendly, efficient and answered all my questions. They do the PCR type of test and were confident I would get my results within 24 hours as they have a testing lab onsite. Would definitely recommend this clinic for covid testing.

- Verified patient on 8/16

Very disappointed. Was there over 2 hours and still did not have COVID results. Had to insist COVID testing employees change their gloves before testing myself and daughter. Witnessed COVID testers not changing gloves. I COVID test at my work and they performed swabbing and testing was incorrectly. When we went to watch volleyball not one employee asked to see my wristband. Very very disappointed. Girls should not have to play with mask. It is not safe. If we were all COVID negative why have to were a mask especially if you have been vaccinated

- Verified patient on 4/8

I’m from Kansas City and happened to be in Chicago visiting a relative. During my stay, I had received the news that several of my co-workers had tested positive for COVID. I found Family Urgent Care through Solv. I received 2 COVID tests through them during my quarantine and my wait time was next to nothing in both cases. The staff was friendly and in both instances I received phone calls as to my results. The doctor was very informative and was able to answer all of my questions. I highly recommend them!

- Verified patient on 9/3

The gentleman was polite and professional. I said, it's my 1st time doing it myself. He had patience with me, considering I was putting a cotton swap stick up my nose for the covid testing. Explained everything step by step. He had patience with me, considering I was putting a cotton swap stick up my nose for the first time. I had 2 cars in front of me and he was working efficiently. Excellent service at *** W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL ***. Thank you for making it easy and clear.

- Verified patient on 4/13

Very easy experience! Had to get a covid test for my daughter to travel to Puerto Rico. I found the clinic on the Puerto Rico travel .gov website. Many other places in Evanston that I checked were booked until too close to our flight and I was worried about the turn around time. Also some of the other places that could see us on a Sunday (hospital based clinics) were asking us to get a doctors referral. This was much easier. Yes I would recommend this place!! Thx

- Verified patient on 11/21

Attendant was extremely nice and I love the food drive giving back. The only request is that I can get a confirmation the day I come because now my hospital is making me get a PCR test and my other hospital I have to report back to needs a confirmation of me getting the test before Monday, the attendant said it was possible to get an email or a text saying that I was seen today with my name for a Covid test, otherwise everything is perfect

- Verified patient on 11/11

The nurse at 8:45am Nov 29th *** at 805 S Main St, Lombard, IL, location was the most caring, friendly, professionalI I have ever met. She was efficient communicating with the patients and organizing testing services. It was a rainy chilly day and she had to operate in the bad weather conditions. It is shame that she was not provided any rain coat. Please take care of your personal!!! Winter is coming! We all need good care!!! Thank you, Midwest COVID Testing Clinic and dear nurse!

- Verified patient on 10/31

I was afraid and hesitant on going to get a covid test my family had to dragg me down there i actually had to take my two year old inorder for him to see his doctor and so i got tested as well i have to say im glad i went here they were fast and gentle and it put me at ease i would definitely recommend this place and the young man who tested us was so nice and helpful five stars.

- Verified patient on 12/16

I needed a COVID test for a doctor appointment. When I called I was told to make a appointment on line which I did. When I visited the facility I was checked in and told to wait outside to be called in. I was called in about 5 minutes later, just as I was told at check in. The actual procedure only took a couple of minutes. The next day I was e-mailed the result. All in all a very pleasant experience.

- Verified patient on 9/20

I have gotten tested for COVID a few times and this by far is the best one! You are greeted by a very friendly gentleman who asks for your name. Within a couple of minutes the staff comes out to do the test and they are also just as friendly. Then about fifteen minutes later you receive your results. I am so thankful we were able to find a place for COVID testing where the staff is so kind and professional!

- Verified patient on 1/17

Making an appointment online was easy. When we pulled up & checked in the waiting list said 13 appointments ahead of us. 4 minutes later it was my husband & daughter’s time to be tested (waiting time was fast) Nurse asked names, explained what she was going to do, preformed the test, told us results will be ready with in 30 minutes & to feel better. 12 minutes later we got the test results. I would recommend Midwest Covid Testing.

- Verified patient on 11/15

Very friendly place! Nice to be able to book an appointment online. Brought my grandson for a Covid test and only had a short wait. The technician was efficient and answered all our questions. She was dressed in protective gear the same as nurses taking care of Covid patients. We had our masks and gloves on, and felt very safe. A couple minutes and he was done! I would recommend NewMed for anyone needing a Covid test quickly and efficiently.

- Verified patient on 1/21

Please know that you will need insurance if you go to get COVID tested here even though the government is funding COVID testing. That’s messed up on the part of the clinic/clinic owners considering they are trying to maximize profit. With that said, the staff was friendly, the wait time was quick and they printed out our results for travel. Please know that they only did the rapid test and not the PCR test here. I would recommend this place.

- Verified patient on 1/1

Very quick and efficient care. I was able to schedule my appointment for a Covid test the night before online. Called the next day to see if my wife could come in at the same time as me for a Covid test for her and they accommodated her at the same time as my visit. Very professional service provided rapid test results within a few minutes and provided a treatment plan for me since I tested positive with Covid.

- Verified patient on 11/20

When I called to inquire about Covid testing, the nurse was extremely helpful and walked me through what I needed to do. Upon checking into the clinic, I didn’t have to wait to be brought back to a room. The nurse was very helpful in answering my questions since this was my first Covid test. With a negative test result, the Dr was able to get to the root of my problem. I highly recommend this facility.

- Verified patient on 2/4

I needed a rapid COVID test asap and had booked an apt at the clinic across the street. Even though the website had allowed me to book an apt on Sunday, the clinic was closed! Thankfully Curewell was open and the stuff were so nice and friendly to me. They gave me the rest I needed and I had my results in 10 mins. The stuff were wonderful! Muchisimas gracias a todos/todas por su ayuda!

- Verified patient on 8/22

About COVID 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.

Molecular vs Antigen Tests

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.

COVID-19 Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost?

    COVID testing can be free in many circumstances. As part of their response to the epidemic, many Illinois health departments continue to provide free testing to community citizens. In some situations, commercially insured patients, as well as those on Medicare or Medicaid, may be able to get testing for free or for a small office visit fee. COVID tests can cost anything from $50 to $150 each test for cash-paying individuals or those who require speedy answers in under an hour. It's best to call your doctor before getting tested so you can get a better idea of how much the test will cost.

  • Where can I get free COVID testing?

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing for people without health insurance, makes COVID testing free nationwide. Check with your local Illinois health department for details since they are usually an excellent source of free COVID tests, or can at least lead you in the proper way. You can also ask your health care practitioner for a recommendation for a free COVID test location.

  • Where can I get COVID testing in Illinois?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Illinois 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 Illinois?

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

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Illinois 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, scientists feel you should be checked if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, especially if you are suffering cold or flu symptoms that are usually associated with the coronavirus.

  • How long does COVID testing take?

    A COVID test is quick. A nasal swab is used for the majority of tests, and it takes less than a minute to swab both nostrils. This means you might be in and out of the testing center in as little as 10-15 minutes, depending on where you obtain your COVID test. Testing sites may be busier than usual during popular seasons, especially around holidays, and wait times may be higher.

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

    Most labs are sending out COVID test results via molecular (PCR) 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 tests are processed on-site and can provide findings in less than an hour, sometimes as quickly as 15 minutes.

  • 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.

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