Need help finding what you’re looking for?
Here’s a nearby provider

4.78(274 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

4907 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 701154907 Prytania St
OpenSat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
urgent-care-for-children-new-orleans-pediatrics
Book online

Recent patient review

Excellent urgent care help. Visiting from out of town and child got sick. Appreciated quick, friendly and professional service.
Book at Priority Labs
Choose what service you would like to book.
List your practice on Solv

COVID Testing & Rapid Testing
in Louisiana

Distance
Hours
COVID Test
Time to Result
Patient types
Rating
Add location icon

Own a clinic? Add your location.

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

Add location

4.78(274 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

4907 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 701154907 Prytania St
OpenSat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
urgent-care-for-children-new-orleans-pediatrics
Book online

Recent patient review

Excellent urgent care help. Visiting from out of town and child got sick. Appreciated quick, friendly and professional service.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

3926 Barron St, Metairie, LA 700023926 Barron St
OpenSat 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SunClosed
align-infusion-clinic-lab-testing-services-iv-hydration
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
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$40

Available times

4.79(4.8k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

3908 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 700603908 Veterans Memorial Blvd
OpenSat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
rapid-urgent-care-metairie
Book online

Recent patient review

Professional courteous Made you feel comfortable.
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

5.0(13 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

2315 Florida St Building 200, Mandeville, LA 704482315 Florida St Building 200
OpenSat 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
elless-online-telemedicine
Book online

Recent patient review

NP Stumpf was wonderful. She listened to my concerns and helped my son get better fast. Our visit was so convenient and we were seen quickly. I strongly recommend Elless Online and will definitely use their services again!

Available times

4.73(4.9k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

2170 Gause Blvd W, Slidell, LA 704602170 Gause Blvd W
OpenSat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
rapid-urgent-care-slidell
Book online

Recent patient review

Love the staff quick and so respectful Clean bathroom Paperwork quick and easy
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

4.89(427 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

925 LA-59, Mandeville, LA 70448925 LA-59
OpenSat 9:00 am - 5:00 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
in-out-urgent-care-mandeville
Book online

Recent patient review

Great experience! Very professional. Literally no wait time. Nurse practitioner was very sympathetic and great bedside manner.
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 < 1 hour
$250
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

4.65(872 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

1111 N Causeway Blvd, Mandeville, LA 704711111 N Causeway Blvd
OpenSat 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
rapid-urgent-care-virtual-visit
Book online

Recent patient review

I always have a Great Experience With you All and I understand the wait time as it is cold and flu season!!
COVID Test
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

4.78(4.2k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

1111 N Causeway Blvd, Mandeville, LA 704711111 N Causeway Blvd
OpenSat 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
  • Mon 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
rapid-urgent-care-mandeville
Book online

Recent patient review

The doctors are always handsome
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

4.87(856 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

3663 U.S. Hwy 190, Mandeville, LA 704713663 U.S. Hwy 190
OpenSat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
urgent-care-for-children-mandeville-pediatrics
Book online

Recent patient review

I loved everyone that helped us out today with my sons fracture. They were all so sweet and caring while my son and I both cried! I will definitely use this place again if ever needed!
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

4.53(445 reviews)
4708 Exploration Ave, Marrero, LA 700724708 Exploration Ave
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I would 100% recommend this company to anyone wanting to check their health status. The process was incredibly easy and done through certified labs. The results are frequently back by the next day.

4.21(569 reviews)
6628 Nw 9Th Blvd, New Orleans, LA 701226628 Nw 9Th Blvd
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

A great experience for something I had a lot of anxiety about. Had no wait time or issues at the testing center/lab. Had blood drawn at 3pm and had results by email at 9am the next morning.

4.14(472 reviews)
2600 Nw 87Th Ave, Gretna, LA 700562600 Nw 87Th Ave
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I highly recommend for anyone thinking of getting tested. From start to finish the whole process was hassle free and and very professional. I had my results very quickly and discreetly couldn't be happier with the service.

4.48(583 reviews)
4797 S 7th St, Metairie, LA 700014797 S 7th St
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

A great experience for something I had a lot of anxiety about. Had no wait time or issues at the testing center/lab. Had blood drawn at 3pm and had results by email at 9am the next morning.

4.43(458 reviews)
100 Westbank Expy, Westwego, LA 70094100 Westbank Expy
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I came in one day without an appoint and waited two hours as a walk-in before I had to leave without being tested. I made an appointment through Priority Lab Testing for the next day, showed up on time, got tested easily and was on my way in 15-20 minutes. Staff is friendly and helpful.

4.31(447 reviews)
391B Fulton Ave, Metairie, LA 70002391B Fulton Ave
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I came in one day without an appoint and waited two hours as a walk-in before I had to leave without being tested. I made an appointment through Priority Lab Testing for the next day, showed up on time, got tested easily and was on my way in 15-20 minutes. Staff is friendly and helpful.

4.21(530 reviews)
843 Auto Center Dr, Chalmette, LA 70043843 Auto Center Dr
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

Great discreet service, scheduled my visit and paid for for the test online not in Showed up at lab, checked in and was seen within minutes. Blood and urine were collected, test results came back quickly within 2 days because I did my test on a Friday. Quick, easy and cheap. Didn't have to wait for a visit to my PCP, and then get referral to lab.

4.36(445 reviews)
2000 E SOUTHERN AVE, Kenner, LA 700652000 E SOUTHERN AVE
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I would 100% recommend this company to anyone wanting to check their health status. The process was incredibly easy and done through certified labs. The results are frequently back by the next day.

4.26(568 reviews)
502 Madison Oak, LaPlace, LA 70068502 Madison Oak
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I was very surprised with my experience here. My appointment was made very quickly. I was seen in a very short period of time. My test results came back in a very timely manner. I was able to speak with a doctor soon after and was taking care of. I was very satisfied with the experience I had here. I definitely recommend using them for any issues you have or any questions you may have.

4.24(522 reviews)
501 Rue de Sante, LaPlace, LA 70068501 Rue de Sante
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

I highly recommend for anyone thinking of getting tested. From start to finish the whole process was hassle free and and very professional. I had my results very quickly and discreetly couldn't be happier with the service.

4.43(405 reviews)
425 Post Road, Mandeville, LA 70471425 Post Road
priority-lab-testing
Call now

Recent patient review

Excellent customer service. Knowledgeably answered all questions. Appointment and billing were fast. Testing next day was on time and professional. Results available within 24 hours. Highly recommend.
Add location icon

Own a clinic? Add your location.

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

Add location

Quick and easy

No paperwork for breezy booking, with texts to keep you up-to-date.

Know what's covered

Snap a photo of your insurance card to see your benefits ahead of time.

In your neighborhood

Great healthcare professionals who treat you like a neighbor (because they are).

Latest COVID-19 Testing Updates

Oct 31, 2022
A surge in respiratory syncytial virus is putting severe strain on children's hospitals nationwide. Hospitals first began seeing the unseasonable RSV rise in August. Now, many are reporting a case increase of over 300 percent compared to last month. (Becker's)
Oct 28, 2022
With the BQ.1.1 variant on the rise in Europe, experts express concern of a rise in COVID cases this winter; encourage everyone to max out their boosters and vaccinate their children (Houston Chronicle)

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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Louisiana 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 Louisiana?

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

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Louisiana 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.

Recent COVID-19 Testing Reviews (20)

The Dr. was GREAT. I called 1st and told there was a 3 hr.wait time. I called rite back and was told 1hr 40 min. Then I went in and was told 2.hr wait before the receptionist could say anything else. She told me to wait in my car and she would call me. No call came through. The nurse who swab my nose didn't introduce herself. She came into my holding area and said, "Your here for a covid test rite". So she didn't read my chart i guess. Then another person who didn't introduce herself came in to get my vitals which consisted of my BP only. I was really feeling like I was a bother to them. I started to cry. This room I was in didn't even have kleenex. I walked out the room to ask for tissue. This nurse named Tiffany helped me. Not long after that the Dr. came in with my results. He made me feel like he cared to be there... This was my 2nd time using this clinic. The 1st visit was nothing like this one.

- Verified patient on 11/27

Mr. Adams was very very kind in regards to my needs regarding a COVID test when I called, thumbs up to him, Ms. Tiffany, Awesome caring and gentle with the test, because I was a bit afraid. As for the Doctor, I don’t think you can find a better Doctor, kind , caring, considerate and professional, . I told several people about my visit there and you guys have a thumbs up , from me. Your care center is highly recommended. I wish to take this moment to thank all of you , and God Bless, Sincerely, Mrs. S. Hill Please view www.jw.org Great website millions of people view this sight daily, and are given great advice and a hope for the future. And how to deal with every day stress and great info for marriage and family and raising kids.😊you will be glad you did. 😊

- Verified patient on 1/30

So, I gave wait time a 3 star simply because the process for Covid testing was confusing. I scheduled a virtual appointment because when I called ahead I was told there weren’t any appointments available today, so schedule a virtual visit and if I needed testing as determined by the provider, then I would drive right over for testing. So, I signed on for my virtual appointment 15 minutes prior to my scheduled time, but 15 minutes after my scheduled time, the provider still wasn’t on the screen. (I waited a total of 30 minutes) Therefore, I called and they told me to drive in for testing at the Metairie office. It would have been nice to know in advance that I should just simply call ahead instead of wasting time waiting for the virtual visit to happen prior. Overall, the staff experience was wonderful.

- Verified patient on 7/2

I came in with migraine but wanted to rule out COVID. I was quickly show a room and the COVID test was painless. When that came back negative, my blood pressure reading indicating reason for migraine. The Dr explained all my options, gave me a shot to ease the pain, and was instructed to consult with my primary Dr. I truly appreciate the staff’s willingness to diagnose and provide relief, but to refer to my Dr for further treatment. Prior to entering Rapid, I had no idea my pressure was so high.

- Verified patient on 4/9

The only ludicrous thing is, in the process of filling out "paperwork" electronically, I had to add my birth date (my daughter was the patient) by scrolling 45 × 12 times (so 540 scrolls) to get to ***. 😂 The clinic itself was fine and seemed well-run. The ladies doing check-in knew nothing about the date entry system. I do wish there were a separate quick line for people only wishing to do a quick covid test and not full health screening service.

- Verified patient on 8/13

I walked in for a covid test. The staff was very friendly and professional. I waited about an hour, but I was a walk-in. It took 2 minutes to get vitals and testing completed and the dr came right in. The results were back in 20 minutes and I was on my way. People can be so impatient in this fast food, instant gratification world we live. No matter what the wait , you cannot beat great service!

- Verified patient on 12/8

Everyone was great other than the provider. He walked in gave the COvID test result for my daughter and proceeded to walk out. I had to ask what he thought was causing her problems and he said probably a stomach virus and continued out door. If I was there solely for a COvID test this wouldn’t have mattered but I came seeking care for my child and left with nothing other than a test result. He seemed unconcerned

- Verified patient on 4/3

The wait time was terrible because it was New Year’s Day and very few clinics were open that day. But the staff was great! In fact I live in Folsom and I would travel to Slidell again because of the way me and my niece were treated. From the initial phone call to see if they had Covid test to us actually having the test done everything was perfect except the wait. It was a great experience!

- Verified patient on 1/2

The office admissions clerk was polite and respectful. The nurse that took me to my patient room was courteous and friendly. The nurse that took my covid test explained the process and advised of what next if positive. Another nurse came in and checked my vitals. He too was very courteous and friendly. Dr. Stanley was amazing. Very friendly and spent time to explain. Everything. Asked about how I was feeling and made me feel cared for.

- Verified patient on 8/10

It was a positive experience, friendly and very clean. We went for Covid testing and they checked our vitals and all and discovered I have an upper respiratory infection. I am so glad the Dr. discovered this! I thought I just had a cold. We were tested because we watch my grandkids and they are positive as of today. This trip may have saved my life! I’m glad we went and got checked out.

- Verified patient on 2/2

I’ve been here quite a few times in the past and for the FIRST TIME y’all actually have a much nicer & friendlier staff! I stopped coming here last year due to the rudeness of doctors and literally the whole staff. Much nicer atmosphere now. Brittany did my Covid test and she went ABOVE & BEYOND to make me as comfortable as possible not to mention, her bedside manners were impeccable!

- Verified patient on 8/13

What a great staff… the wait time was a bit long but it wasn’t their fault. It was because so many people were getting Covid testing done and despite that they had all been at the facility since 6:30 that morning( and I got there at 7:30 that night) they were friendly and efficient … they will have all of my business for instances that I need their services👍✌🏻

- Verified patient on 7/30

Even though the wait was abnormally long due to everyone wanting to get COVID TESTED prior to Thanksgiving, the app letting you know your position in line is extremely helpful. I wish all doctors office would use this technology. Despite the staff’s hectic day, their spirits remained cheerful and friendly and professional. The nurse performing the the nasal swab test took great care. Would definitely use this location again.

- Verified patient on 11/25

I am so thankful for this process. We are traveling soon and just found out we had to obtain a Covid test. I found out you guys do travel testing and it was easily scheduled. The staff was extremely friendly during my initial impression and the staff member who did our swabs was AWESOME!!! She made me feel less nervous about the procedure. Thank you guys!

- Verified patient on 1/12

I went there for a COVID test which they did however after the results were given to the doctor she never examined me I was there back in the spring for a coved test and the doctor examined me checking my nose throat heart etc it was a better experience I felt like he actually cared about was may have been wrong

- Verified patient on 1/16

The nurse that did my son’s covid test needs to work on her bedside manner. It was my 8 year old’s first test, she gave him no warning or told him what she was doing. She showed no remorse after she made him cry. All she said was don’t push back and shoved the swab up his 8 year old nose.

- Verified patient on 11/30

I went in for a rapid Covid test. Considering the power was out in our area for several days, the wait time was a little long. The doctor was very welcoming and apologized for the wait. I received a thorough exam for the symptoms I presented with and am pleased with the doctor’s recommendations. Thankfully my Covid test was negative.

- Verified patient on 11/1

I came to have my kids get covid testing for school. As someone who has been tested 60+ times for work I was a little aggravated at how long the wait was. The 60+ tests I’ve been through took about 1/5 of the time in total, maybe even less than today’s 2+ hours. All in all everything was ok.

- Verified patient on 9/14

I would definitely recommend this to family and friends the staff was so friendly the wait time was, no wait time The young lady who did my Covid test was very friendly and exactly what she was doing because she caused me no pain if I ever had to come back again I would definitely request her again

- Verified patient on 10/24

Amazing! Each person we encountered was kind, engaging and respectful. My kiddo was getting a COVID test and everyone calmed her fears. She loved it so much that she wants to visit “even when she isn’t sick!” Facility was top notch as well Thank you for being amazing during such a bizarre time. We appreciate you!

- Verified patient on 1/29

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.

Find Care

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using Solv, you accept our use of cookies.