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pm-pediatric-wakemed-childrens-urgent-care-cary-nc

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care, Cary NC

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care

4.86(1.4k reviews)
2007 Walnut St, Cary, NC 275182007 Walnut St
OpenWed 12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 11:59 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Long wait time, understandably, it was busy, and the front desk person called me on my phone and asked us where we were...I told her that we were in one of the examination rooms, waiting for the doc, they forgot that we were there. The staff otherwise were great, the EMT/manager was super helpful, and the doctor was a high-quality guy...it was a great experience overall.
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Raleigh, NC

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

COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Raleigh, NC

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in Raleigh and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.
<strong>COVID testing & Rapid testing near me</strong> in Raleigh, NC Illustration
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arcpoint-labs-raleigh

Arcpoint Labs, Raleigh

Arcpoint Labs

5.0(4 reviews)
3813 Junction Blvd, Raleigh, NC 276033813 Junction Blvd
OpenWed 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Mon 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Tue 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Wed 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Thu 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Fri 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Illustration
Video Visits
4.8
113

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

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

Recent 5-star patient review

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

Book an available time
dispatchhealth-raleigh-durham

DispatchHealth, Raleigh Durham

DispatchHealth

5.0(1 reviews)
At-home urgent care
Servicing the Durham areaAt home urgent care
OpenWed 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Book online
PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
pm-pediatric-wakemed-childrens-urgent-care-cary-nc

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care, Cary NC

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care

4.86(1.4k reviews)
2007 Walnut St, Cary, NC 275182007 Walnut St
OpenWed 12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 11:59 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Long wait time, understandably, it was busy, and the front desk person called me on my phone and asked us where we were...I told her that we were in one of the examination rooms, waiting for the doc, they forgot that we were there. The staff otherwise were great, the EMT/manager was super helpful, and the doctor was a high-quality guy...it was a great experience overall.
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
pm-pediatric-wakemed-childrens-urgent-care-north-raleigh-nc

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care, North Raleigh NC

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care

4.82(314 reviews)
8841 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 276158841 Six Forks Rd
OpenWed 12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sun12:00 pm - 11:59 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

We have come to this Urgebt Care twice and received excellent care both times. First, our son had a bad allergic reaction to an insect bite resulting in full body hives. The staff was quick to see him, communicated well throughout, and explained all options and follow up clearly. Our second time required several stitches for our son and the staff was again great in navigaing difficulties.
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
pm-pediatric-wakemed-childrens-urgent-care-morrisville-nc

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care, Morrisville NC

PM Pediatric WakeMed Childrens Urgent Care

4.81(1.1k reviews)
1125 Hatches Pond Ln, Morrisville, NC 275601125 Hatches Pond Ln
OpenWed 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Mon10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tue10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Wed10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Thu10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Fri10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

We had a really nice experience from the front desk to the designated room, shoutout to Ms Liz for the awesome and fun time and making everyone, especially the young kids, feel comfortable!
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
nextcare-urgent-care-raleigh-wake-forest-rd

NextCare Urgent Care, Raleigh (Wake Forest Rd)

NextCare Urgent Care

4.67(2.9k reviews)
4100 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 276094100 Wake Forest Rd
OpenWed 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sun 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Would definitely recommend!!! Fast and friendly service.
rx-urgent-care-raleigh

RX Urgent Care, Raleigh

RX Urgent Care

4.86(1.4k reviews)
3100 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 276123100 Blue Ridge Rd
OpenWed 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 - 3:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Brittany is awesome! Great team!
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Self-pay pricing

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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$120
aspirar-medical-lab

Aspirar Medical Lab

Aspirar Medical Lab

135 Parkway Office Ct, Cary, NC 27518135 Parkway Office Ct
OpenWed 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
Book online
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
nextcare-urgent-care-cary

NextCare Urgent Care, Cary

NextCare Urgent Care

4.75(2.2k reviews)
1110 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC 275111110 Kildaire Farm Rd
OpenWed 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Sun 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Wait time is awful, but Covid tests clog up waitlist. Front desk staff are overworked, or tired, because very unfriendly and unwilling to help. Medical assistant was awesome however, provided kindness, and expertise. Provider was also very efficient and friendly. So mixed review.
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown
rx-urgent-care-north-raleigh

RX Urgent Care, North Raleigh

RX Urgent Care

4.85(1.6k reviews)
10880 Durant Rd, Raleigh, NC 2761410880 Durant Rd
OpenWed 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 - 3:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Friendly staff, quick & efficient, checkin easy
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$120
carolina-primary-care-apollo-urgent-care

Carolina Primary Care / Apollo Urgent Care

Carolina Primary Care / Apollo Urgent Care

4.77(1.2k reviews)
101 Lattner Ct, Morrisville, NC 27560101 Lattner Ct
OpenWed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SunClosed
Book online

Recent patient review

Great Dr. Bhavani, good staff, good service! Booked online, easy to use.
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PCR Test
Results in 1-5 days
$75
afc-urgent-care-fuquay

AFC Urgent Care, Fuquay

AFC Urgent Care

4.89(3.9k reviews)
1298 N Main St, Fuquay-Varina, NC 275261298 N Main St
OpenWed 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 - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Staff is friendly and knowledgeable feel like I am in good capable care.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$150
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$150
arcpoint-labs-raleigh-durham

ARCpoint Labs, Raleigh, Durham

ARCpoint Labs

4.67(3 reviews)
3326 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 277073326 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd
OpenWed 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Mon 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Tue 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Wed 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 4:15 pm
  • Fri 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Book online
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
drip-hydration-mobile-iv-therapy-raleigh

Drip Hydration Mobile IV Therapy, Raleigh

Drip Hydration Mobile IV Therapy

410 N Boylan Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603410 N Boylan Ave
OpenWed 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
Call now
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Self-pay pricing

Clear self-pay prices

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

PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$449
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$249
bible-way-temple

Bible Way Temple

Bible Way Temple

1110 Holmes St, Raleigh, NC 276011110 Holmes St
OpenWed 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 - 2:00 pm
  • SunClosed
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
neighborhealth-center

NeighborHealth Center

NeighborHealth Center

1390 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 276031390 Capital Blvd
View hours of operation
  • MonUnknown
  • TueUnknown
  • WedUnknown
  • ThuUnknown
  • Fri10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • SatUnknown
  • SunUnknown
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advance-community-health-raleigh

Advance Community Health - Raleigh

Advance Community Health - Raleigh

1001 Rock Quarry Rd, Raleigh, NC 276101001 Rock Quarry Rd
OpenWed 7:00 am - 7:00 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
  • SatUnknown
  • SunUnknown
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avance-care-central-raleigh

Avance Care, Central Raleigh

Avance Care

815 Oberlin Rd, Raleigh, NC 27605815 Oberlin Rd
View hours of operation
  • MonUnknown
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  • WedUnknown
  • ThuUnknown
  • FriUnknown
  • Sat 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Sun 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
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avance-care-central-raleigh

Avance Care - Central Raleigh

Avance Care - Central Raleigh

815 Oberlin Rd, Raleigh, NC 27605815 Oberlin Rd
OpenWed 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Mon 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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hayes-barton-pharmacy

Hayes Barton Pharmacy

Hayes Barton Pharmacy

2000 Fairview Rd, Raleigh, NC 276082000 Fairview Rd
OpenWed 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SunUnknown
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neighborhealth-center

NeighborHealth Center

NeighborHealth Center

101 Donald Ross Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610101 Donald Ross Dr
OpenWed 9:30 am - 11:30 am
  • MonUnknown
  • TueUnknown
  • Wed 9:30 am - 11:30 am
  • ThuUnknown
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VIDEO: Dr. Isaac Thomsen, pediatric infectious disease specialist, discusses COVID-19 and Delta variant and what in means for kids.Watch now!

Latest COVID Testing updates

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)
Jun 15, 2022
COVID vaccines for kids under 5 move closer to FDA authorization after committee backs shots. The FDA’s committee of independent vaccine experts voted unanimously to recommend Moderna and Pfizer’s shots for use in infants through toddlers. The FDA will likely accept the recommendation and authorize the shots this week.(CNBC)

COVID Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost in Raleigh?

    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 Raleigh?

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

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Raleigh 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 Raleigh?

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

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Raleigh 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 Raleigh?

    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 Raleigh?

    Most labs are returning send-out molecular (PCR) COVID test results within 24-48 hours of the test. Some sites take longer, so call and ask if the reason for the test is proof for travel. Rapid COVID tests are processed on-site and are able to deliver results in under an hour, sometimes in as little as 15 min.

  • Do COVID tests detect the Delta variant and Omicron variant?

    Regular COVID tests are able to detect both the Delta variant and Omicron variant in that they can determine whether or not you have the coronavirus. However, they can't tell which variation is involved. That would necessitate genomic sequencing, which is a different process from regular virus testing that not all labs can undertake. Sequencing is uncommon and can cost up to $100 per test. Since the treatment is the same for any variant, it is not clinically useful to an individual patient to know whether the infection was caused by a variant or not.

Recent COVID Testing Reviews (20)

The drive up Covid Test site was super easy to do. The staff walked me through everything and answered my questions. It was really quick, but not at all rushed.

- Verified patient on 9/29

I made an appointment for a COVID test and ended up waiting in line for almost two hours anyway. As I was approaching the kiosk after waiting for so long, I noticed the separate line for appointments. There should have been a sign or an attendant directing the flow. Once I was attended to I guess they were somewhat friendly....certainly not overly friendly. And now it’s been 3 days and still no results.

- Verified patient on 1/2

I used the drive through COVID Test site.

- Verified patient on 9/2

I was a bit nervous about getting a covid test in the middle of an empty parking lot, but the staff immediately put my mind at ease. She was wonderful!

- Verified patient on 9/29

This is a great place for Covid test. Check was convenient because I booked my appointment online and they’re very nice.

- Verified patient on 10/27

Had covid test done, was quick and easy and answered all my questions!

- Verified patient on 8/13

Quick and easy Covid testing. Friendly staff.

- Verified patient on 8/25

We had a great drive thru experience for covid test. The staff was really friendly!

- Verified patient on 8/28

Best experience for Covid testing. Everything was quick yet thorough and friendly staff.

- Verified patient on 9/22

The staff was great with my kids. They were nervous about taking the COVID test. Brought us in a side door , very safe.

- Verified patient on 11/18

Faith helped me at this covid testing site , she was pleasant , explained everything and I was in and out quickly !

- Verified patient on 10/14

Did not get the opportunity to have my daughter get her Covid test today, with no appoinment. The lady at the front desk was rude to me, from my point of view. Besides that, and kept going doing some errands in the meantime i receive my phone call for my daughter test but my phone only rang like 3 times or 4, but not more than that. Could not get the phone call. Was not sure if i needed to take my daughter or not. Did not take her. But again, the lady at the front desk was not nice at all. Thank you

- Verified patient on 8/30

Got a covid test in an hour, instead of waiting for most of the day in a line in a car. Very pleased.

- Verified patient on 1/12

We were required to have an Appt. (Which we did). We were told it would be an hour wait even with the Appt. We only wanted a Covid Test, not an exam which we were given. Now we will be charged for a complete visit. We were not given the option of waiting in the car to be called ( by phone) which we suggested & we were running fever ( possibly infecting other waiting patients). They only had an answer machine instead of talking on the phone when we called before entering the waiting room. The staff was very nice, however, this was more of an incubator for illness rather than a place to be diagnosed & assisted in prevention. What happened to their drive through testing?

- Verified patient on 7/14

Staff was straight forward with Covid test, it was fast and easy. Staff was friendly and professional

- Verified patient on 9/8

Wow! This was my very first CoViD test. I was a little bit nervous. I had the absolute BEST service member named Faith test me. She was outstanding. She even helped me download a QR scanner before I tested. She was kind, helpful, friendly & very professional. She reassured me every step of the way with genuine care. She was efficient & finished my registration & test quickly. Hard to find outstanding service employees who go above & beyond. Faith is a true asset to FreeCovidCare!

- Verified patient on 10/15

Angelica and Kionna were very friendly and were able to get me an appointment for a rapid Covid test very quickly Today.

- Verified patient on 10/22

I went here for a rapid covid test. The application messed up and I ended up having to wait inside for 45 minutes, rather than being able to wait safely in my car. The staff were very polite, respectful and quick to help me through my experience.

- Verified patient on 8/20

The technology and ease of doing a televisit was awful. It was not clear in the website and somehow I ended up with multiple appointments. Website said call and when I called they said go online. Will all that hassle, it was still worth it because the medical staff were great when I finally got someone on the phone. The drive up covid test was a pleasant as could be expected. Not fun, but again, the medical staff were excellent.

- Verified patient on 5/16

I would recommend your facility at least the one that we went to for everyone who needs a Covid test they worked at for us just as we needed it we put through an urgent request and received it the next day thank you for having these available

- Verified patient on 11/8

Raleigh COVID Testing & Rapid Testing

Types of COVID Tests

There are two types of coronavirus tests (COVID-19 tests) available, those that can test for a current infection (viral test) and those that can test for a past infection (antibody test).

Viral COVID testing can be done in a few different ways, the most common being nose swabs, but saliva tests are becoming more popular. Some tests are processed out on-site and can provide results in as little as 30 minutes. These are called rapid COVID tests. The majority of tests, on the other hand, are collected at the clinic on-site and then submitted to off-site labs for processing. Results can take up to 2-3 days to arrive. 

Antibody testing looks for a past infection and may not reveal if you have an active COVID-19 infection because antibodies can take up to three weeks to form in your body. The presence of COVID antibodies may help to prevent you from becoming infected with the same virus again; but, because the clinical understanding of COVID-19 is still developing, it's unclear how long that protection will continue.

Who should get tested for current infection

The CDC currently defines four instances where COVID testing is recommended:

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  2. If you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. If you have been vaccinated, or tested positive in the past 3 months and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to be tested.
  3. If you are unvaccinated and participated in high-risk activities where distancing is not an option. This could include travel, large social or mass gatherings, crowded indoor settings, etc.
  4. If you have been referred to get a COVID test by your healthcare provider or local health department. 

How is testing done for COVID-19?

Most COVID tests are collected by a nasal swab. A member of the medical team puts a swab inside your nose for a few seconds on each side to collect the sample. After that, the samples are packaged according to CDC guidelines and tested on-site or transported to a facility for testing. The lab will test samples for the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID infection and either your care provider or the lab will notify you with the results as soon as they are available.

PCR vs Antigen Testing

Viral COVID tests are available as molecular and antigen tests. The molecular test, also known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually delivers results within a few days since most of these tests are sent to offsite labs for analysis. The average turnaround time for PCR test results is 48 hours, but in some instances may be significantly longer due to backlogs related to insufficient lab volume and capacity. Antigen tests are also known as rapid tests and have an average turnaround time of between 15 to 30 minutes.

Both PCR and rapid COVID tests can be used to test people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, those who were close contacts to COVID-19, and those without COVID-19 symptoms who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as a nursing facility); or those individuals who are identified as part of outbreak detection and response. The rapid COVID test is also recommended for the screening of residents or healthcare workers at skilled nursing facilities along with a PCR confirmation, and for repeat screening for the early detection and prevention of outbreaks in congregate settings (such as schools, workplaces, and prisons).

COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. To reduce the risk of facing extra costs related to COVID testing, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a free COVID test site, and confirm there are no charges or fees for the test that are not covered by your insurance plan. Additionally, avoid getting a COVID test at a hospital or free-standing emergency room, as these facilities may charge fees for COVID testing and related services.

Rob Rohatsch
Medically reviewed by Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jul 25, 22

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