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Dr. Rob Image

Medically reviewed by 
Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jun 23, 2022

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COVID Testing

As the COVID-19 pandemic carries on, viral testing remains a critical component to combating the spread. COVID testing can be done in a few different ways, the most common being nose swabs with test results available in as little as 30 minutes at some locations. Find COVID testing near you.

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STD Testing

According to the CDC, STDs (or STIs) have reached an all time high for the 6th consecutive year with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis being the most common, particularly with access to testing and treatment limited due to COVID. Find and book an STD test near you to help prevent further spread.

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Drug Testing

While some companies are forgoing pre-employment drug testing amidst the global staffing shortage, others, including federal agencies and contractors, still require them. Whether through urine, hair, saliva or other specimens, testing looks for: amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and more. Find drug testing near you.

How to Order Your Own Lab tests

All lab tests used to require physician orders, whether they were collected within a physician office or at an offsite draw station. But those times have changed. DNA tests, STD tests, common blood and diabetes tests, and now COVID tests can all be self-directed allowing consumers easy, on-demand access to many of the tests they need

Here’s how it works:

  1. Determine the lab test you need. If you aren’t sure which test is right for you, it is best to consult your doctor.
  2. Find a nearby lab or clinic offering the test and book an appointment. Most labs even offer clear self-pay pricing.
  3. Visit the lab, clinic or draw station for your appointment. Most test specimens only take a few minutes to collect.
  4. Receive your lab test results either through your Solv account, or directly from the lab. Most results are back within 2-3 days, but it varies based on the specific test and how busy the lab is.

Get care in as little as 15 minutes

Not feeling well? Start a video visit 24/7 with an exceptional provider in as little as 15 minutes for one great price. This is lightning fast care, now available at your fingertips.


Related Articles

Latest Lab Testing updates

Jun 15, 2022
BA.4 and BA.5 — "sister variants" of the original omicron strain — are gaining prevalence in the U.S. and now account for about 1 in 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, CDC data shows. (Becker's)
May 31, 2022
COVID-19 hospitalizations are up 20 percent nationwide over the last 14 days, with 45 states and Washington, D.C., reporting an increase. Nationwide, COVID-19 cases increased 14 percent over the past 14 days, according to HHS data collected by The New York Times.

Lab Testing FAQs

  • Can I order my own lab tests?

    In most states, patients can order their own lab tests, including blood tests, urinalysis, and more, without a doctor visit or physician order. You can make your own appointment at a medical lab or draw station when it is convenient for you. Additionally, there are even at-home test kits available for many common tests.
  • Where can I get tested?

    You can find thousands of labs and draw stations on Solv for just about any common lab test you may need. Make sure you confirm the test you need is available through the specific lab you choose to visit.
  • Do I need an appointment for lab testing?

    There are some labs, draw stations and clinics that accept walk-in patients for lab testing, however, most recommend you make an appointment in advance. With an appointment you will generally reduce your wait time and ensure they have the test ready to collect when you arrive.
  • How much do lab tests cost?

    The type of test, where the test is performed, and whether you have insurance coverage are all factors that influence the cost of a lab test. Testing is usually covered by insurance when ordered by a doctor, but there may be a fee or deductible. The professionals who draw your blood may also charge you a fee. The cost of the test should be discussed with your provider and insurance plan.
  • How do I get my lab test results?

    For many patients booking lab testing through Solv, test results are delivered through the Solv app. For others, however, the lab test provider will instruct you on how to access your results at the time of your visit.
  • How long does it take to get lab test results?

    The length of time it takes for test results to become accessible is determined by a number of factors, including the type of test, the procedure utilized, and the location of the test. Rapid tests can provide findings in minutes, whether performed at home or in a clinic. After the material is received at the lab, tests done at local labs or commercial reference labs might take anything from a few hours to several days.
  • How do I read my lab test results?

    Lab test results often include a reference range, or “normal values”, which is a collection of numbers used to typically indicate a healthy person or test result. However, not everyone is typical. Healthy persons can have results that are beyond the reference range, while people with health issues can have results that are within the normal range. If your test results are not within the reference range, or if you're experiencing symptoms despite a normal result, you'll probably require extra testing.
  • How should I prepare for lab tests?

    The majority of tests do not require any extra preparation. Others, on the other hand, may require you to fast, avoid certain foods, or take other precautions prior to the test. Always carefully follow any directions given to you by your healthcare provider or the lab that will conduct your test.
  • Why do I need to fast before some tests?

    Some test specimens are meant to be collected after you've fasted for a few hours. Lipid panels and glucose testing are two examples. It is permissible to consume only water while fasting. If you don't fast, your results may be skewed or incorrectly interpreted. Generally, blood samples may be taken even if you haven't fasted, and this will be noted in your records. Always ensure you follow any directions given to you and inform the person collecting your blood if you have fasted.
  • Will lab results be impacted by my diet or medications I’m taking?

    Diet, drugs, and supplements can all alter the results of several tests. Follow any test preparation instructions given by your doctor or the lab that will conduct your test. Certain medications may need to be avoided before your sample is collected for some tests, but you should never stop taking your prescribed medications without first visiting your healthcare professional.
  • If my results are normal, am I all good?

    It's a good sign if your findings fall within typical ranges. However, this is just one set of tests, not a guarantee there is nothing to be concerned with. There is a lot of overlap between the results of healthy people and those with disorders, so there is still a chance there's a problem that is not being discovered. Take test results that are within range as a good indicator if you're attempting to live a healthy lifestyle, and keep it up. Normal findings may simply mean "so far so good," but if you're participating in hazardous habits like a poor diet or little exercise, it may be that the possible effects have yet to catch up with you.
  • If my results are abnormal, what should I do?

    A test result that falls outside the reference range may or may not indicate a problem, but it alerts your healthcare professional to look into your situation further. There's nothing wrong with having a value outside the range, but your provider should try to figure out what's causing it. It's likely that your result is among the 5% of healthy people whose results are outside the statistical reference range. Furthermore, numerous things might cause a test to be thrown off without revealing a severe problem, such as not adequately preparing for the test. Your doctor will almost certainly want to repeat the test to validate the results."so far so good," but if you're participating in hazardous habits like a poor diet or little exercise, it may be that the possible effects have yet to catch up with you.

COVID 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 state and local 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, covers COVID testing for people without health insurance, which essentially makes COVID testing free. These free tests may require a screening for symptoms and/or exposure in order to qualify. Check with the health department in your area, 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?

    COVID testing is available at many locations including urgent care centers, retail clinics, primary care offices, health departments, and more. Different venues will have different types of tests available, 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?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many 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 do I make an appointment for COVID testing?

    Thousands of same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing 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.
  • What type of COVID test do I need?

    Which COVID test you take is largely dependent on why you need to take the test. Patients who require formal paperwork or certification, such as for travel or an event, should get a molecular (PCR/NAAT) test. These tests are considered to be the gold standard for accuracy. For those who don't need official certification but need to know if they have COVID quickly and inexpensively can select an antigen test.
  • 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?

    Regular COVID tests can detect the Delta variant, which means they can tell if you have the coronavirus or not. They can't tell which variant is involved, though. This would need genome sequencing, which is a separate technique from standard virus testing that not all labs can perform. Sequencing is a somewhat rare procedure that can cost up to $100 each 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.

Additional Resources

Dr. Rob Image

Medically reviewed by 
Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jun 23, 2022

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