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4.54(2k reviews)
641 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220641 W Nine Mile Rd
OpenThu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
michigan-urgent-care-ferndale
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Recent patient review

Despite the wait time all of the staff was polite, compassionate and friendly.
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Oak Park, MI

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4.54(2k reviews)
641 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220641 W Nine Mile Rd
OpenThu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
michigan-urgent-care-ferndale
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Recent patient review

Despite the wait time all of the staff was polite, compassionate and friendly.

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27897 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI 4807227897 Woodward Ave
OpenThu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
henry-ford-gohealth-urgent-care-berkley
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PCR Test
Time to results unknown
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Rapid
Time to results unknown

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5.0(2 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

1010 N Campbell Rd, Royal Oak, MI 480671010 N Campbell Rd
OpenThu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
ascension-myhealth-urgent-care-campbell
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Recent patient review

This was my first visit here. The wait time was a bit long for having an appointment but the staff did apologize and once I got in the room in the back I didn’t have to wait for the provider to come in. They were very thorough and discovered what was happening with me and sent some medication to the pharmacy right away. If I ever have trouble getting an appointment with my doctors office quickly again, I will definitely go here. It is fairly quick and convenient
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown

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4.63(7.6k reviews)
24661 Coolidge Hwy, Oak Park, MI 4823724661 Coolidge Hwy
OpenThu 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
get-well-urgent-care-get-well-urgent-care-of-oak-park
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Recent patient review

Everyone was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable!
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
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Time to results unknown

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4.0(3 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

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

14000 W Seven Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 4823514000 W Seven Mile Rd
OpenThu 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TueClosed
  • WedClosed
  • Thu10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
michigan-nts-hartford-memorial-baptist-church-detroit
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Recent patient review

The staff was awesome
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

13403 W Seven Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 4823513403 W Seven Mile Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat11:00 am - 2:15 pm
  • SunClosed
remedy-rx-west
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125

Available times

5.0(15 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

150 Livernois St, Ferndale, MI 48220150 Livernois St
OpenThu 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SunClosed
olive-labs-covid-testing
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Recent patient review

Drove up and received immediate service. Michael was very friendly and seemed very knowledgeable. Very good with the testing and hoping for rapid results. Would definitely go there again.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$325
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$75

Available times

17100 W Seven Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 4823517100 W Seven Mile Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • SunClosed
safari-drugs-pharmacy
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125

Available times

16841 Schaefer Hwy, Detroit, MI 4823516841 Schaefer Hwy
OpenThu 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat11:15 am - 1:30 pm
  • SunClosed
remedy-rx-schaefer
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125

Available times

4.73(79 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

720 E Eleven Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067720 E Eleven Mile Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SunClosed
oakland-medical-clinic-royal-oak
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Recent patient review

Fast and Friendly Service…
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PCR Test
Results in same day
$75
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$100

Available times

4.62(232 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

26000 Evergreen Rd, Southfield, MI 4807626000 Evergreen Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • MonClosed
  • TueClosed
  • WedClosed
  • Thu 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • FriClosed
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
orchard-laboratories-oakland-county-southfield-city-hall
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Recent patient review

I come to this place every Monday and they have not had my paperwork for the last 3 weeks. How many times do the need my insurance card and license? One it is in the system, it should stay there. It does at every doctor office or lab I go to. Then the person said they need it every time. Why register?
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days

Available times

3.78(9 reviews)
8200 Outer Dr W, Detroit, MI 482198200 Outer Dr W
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed11:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • ThuClosed
  • FriClosed
  • Sat10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • SunClosed
michigan-nts-wayne-county-community-college-district-northwest-campus-detroit
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Recent patient review

Quick, easy, friendly and clean! We always try to book here when we need Covid tests.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour

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5.0(1 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

30357 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 4807330357 Woodward Ave
OpenThu 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Mon 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
rapid-bio-any-lab-test-now
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125

Available times

4.7(626 reviews)
29628 Southfield Rd, Southfield, MI 4807629628 Southfield Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 8:00 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 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
first-choice-urgent-care-southfield
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Recent patient review

The health care providers are excellent. The PA was helpful and very responsive. He also offed follow up if needed. I rely on First Choice for all our urgent care needs.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$150
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$150

Available times

10041 Fenkell Ave, Detroit, MI 4823810041 Fenkell Ave
OpenThu 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat10:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • SunClosed
medstop-pharmacy
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125

Available times

4.34(650 reviews)
624 E 9 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030624 E 9 Mile Rd
OpenThu 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
neu-urgent-care
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Recent patient review

This is a great place to go. Reasonably priced if you don’t have insurance and the staff is friendly, caring and non judgemental. Every once in a while I’ll have a wait to get back there but mostly they get me in pretty quick. It’s odd when it takes a lot of time.
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

19220 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 4822319220 Grand River Ave
OpenThu 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Mon 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tue 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wed 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thu 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Fri 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • SunUnknown
rosedale-community-pharmacy-rapidbio
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Clear self-pay prices

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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown

Available times

4.65(287 reviews)
18161 W 13 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 4807618161 W 13 Mile Rd
OpenThu 9:00 am - 5:00 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 - 12:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
biotox-laboratory-southfield
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Recent patient review

The lady who did my covid test was very friendly and professional, I was in and out in 10 minutes. Greatly recommended
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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 same day
$70
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$35

Available times

4.76(37 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

350 E 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071350 E 12 Mile Rd
OpenThu 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
get-well-urgent-care-madison-heights
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Recent patient review

Close to home but longer than expected wait time for Covid Test. Was suppose to receive within 30 mins and haven’t as of yet.
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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 15 min
$150
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$90

Available times

5.0(9 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

117 W 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017117 W 14 Mile Rd
OpenThu 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Mon 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tue 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wed 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thu 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Fri 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • SunClosed
clawson-care-pharmacy
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Recent patient review

Very fast, not a packed waiting room like the clinics, got tested and was on my way. Awesome Staff.
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Clear self-pay prices

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

PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$75

Available times

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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-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 in Oak Park?

    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 Oak Park?

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

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Oak Park 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 Oak Park?

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

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Oak Park 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 Oak Park?

    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 in Oak Park?

    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-19 Testing Reviews (20)

The doctor never examined me. He didn’t touch me & took my word that I had a sinus infection. He did not look in my throat or check my ears. He already took COVID test that was negative before he came in room. I felt like he was afraid to exam me. Very distant! Check in was fast, assistants were nice & professional!

- Verified patient on 9/26

The staff was professional and very efficient. I was in and out quickly with a rapid covid test. I would definitely recommend for any medical needs.

- Verified patient on 1/29

Made an appointment for a COVID test and I was in and out in less than an hour. The staff was nice and answered all my questions

- Verified patient on 12/15

I set up an appointment on Solv for a COVID test at Neu Urgent Care in Hazel Park, however, the staff did not show up to open the clinic so I quickly made an appointment for Oak Park Urgent Care. It went very very smoothly and the staff answered all questions I had. I received my results in a day via email from Great Lakes Lab Nexus (note: the staff didn't say this would be how I would get results, they said they would call. I just happened to check emails, so if you go for COVID PCR test, clarify how you get your results.) Overall, I would recommend this location!

- Verified patient on 12/29

Went in for a rapid covid test. The tablet sign in process worked well. staff continued the sign-in in a timely manner. only waited about 15 minutes to get the service needed. Waited a few minutes more for results. Good experience. Only bad note is small lobby, but the chairs were distanced appropriately.

- Verified patient on 8/11

I’m visiting from outside. I went into the urgent care facility for Covid testing. The staff was very professional and friendly. I initially went in for the swab but was recommended and offered the antibody testing. Great team working that day...loved their energy and sense of humor.

- Verified patient on 6/25

My husband and I came in for a Covid test. The sign in process was organized and before we knew it we were in triage. The young man assisting us was very friendly and even dished out compliments to us. The physician who came in was nice as well. The only downfall was the young lady who administered the test. She was not friendly at all and didn’t even smile or engage in conversation when my husband and I were trying to talk to her. Her unpleasantness isn’t enough to keep me from coming back to this place should I need to though.

- Verified patient on 1/26

One of the people who took our covid test samples was quick and caused me some pain. The other one was deliberate and gentle.

- Verified patient on 8/3

This is the best urgent care facility in Michigan. I love the doctors at Oak Park surge Care. They are great! Very knowledgeable, attentive and compassionate and understanding. They listen to your concerns and provide the beat treatment available. I’ve visited this facility several times and will continue to do so when necessary. COVID testing available.

- Verified patient on 12/5

Had to get a Covid test for my job and knew it was chaotic at this facility. They had some computer problems and to say the least people were not happy. But they handled it and did a great job of it. Thank you 🙏🏽

- Verified patient on 1/4

I came for a Covid test and was treated with respect.

- Verified patient on 9/14

Long wait but I can say they were moving people right along as fast as they could. Considering the circumstances. (Covid testing).

- Verified patient on 4/6

I received a rapid Covid test and the staff was kind and accurate

- Verified patient on 4/6

wait time was fine with me considering i walked in for covid testing and didn’t mind the wait. testing was fast and rapid results took only 10 minutes to receive

- Verified patient on 11/20

Fast and efficient. Covid test results came back quickly. Thank you!

- Verified patient on 9/16

I was there for a Covid test and the staff was very professional. They got me checked in and in a room in less than twenty minutes. The doctor was great he took the time to answer some questions I had and he didn’t try to rush me, he gave me his undivided attention.

- Verified patient on 4/29

Really friendly and helpful staff, especially in explaining what my insurance covers regarding Covid testing. Zero wait time. Really pleased!

- Verified patient on 1/6

The staff was very friendly really appreciate explained everything to me regarding my Covid test

- Verified patient on 4/14

First time getting COVID tested. Experience was great, Amazing staff, they work as fast as they possibly can. Waiting time was about 4-5 hours because of the current time we are going through. I entered the front office to place myself on waitlist and inserted all my person information and insurance. My insurance covered the rapid COVID-19 test. (Blue Care Network). We waited in a car until we got a call to come in for the test. I was in and out in 10 min. Results approximately take 20-30 min. Doctor seen us from inside our car after testing. They have a pharmacy right next door where we picked up any medication if prescribed to you. (Amazing guy at the pharmacy too). Will recommend to arrive early, be patient and please be nice to all staff, I promise they are trying there best. They are human too! I appreciate every employee there! Keep doing what you are doing! Thank you very much! Best of luck!

- Verified patient on 11/12

Went for a Covid test.

- Verified patient on 12/12

Oak Park 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.

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