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5.0(2 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

99 Nassau St, New York, NY 1003899 Nassau St
OpenSun 10:00 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
  • SatClosed
  • Sun10:00 am - 5:00 pm
empire-city-labs-xpress-lane-pharmacy
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Jersey City, NJ

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5.0(2 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

99 Nassau St, New York, NY 1003899 Nassau St
OpenSun 10:00 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
  • SatClosed
  • Sun10:00 am - 5:00 pm
empire-city-labs-xpress-lane-pharmacy
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$75

Available times

4.8(245 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

414 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012414 W Broadway
OpenSun 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
sameday-health-new-york-soho
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PCR Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown

Available times

2.5(4 reviews)
217 Grand St, New York, NY 10013217 Grand St
View hours of operation
  • 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
  • FriClosed
  • Sat 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SunClosed
empire-city-labs-grand-street
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$75

Available times

4.5(52 reviews)
159 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011159 W 23rd St
OpenSun 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 5:45 pm
sameday-health-nyc-chelsea
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days

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4.38(8 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

20 Meadowlands Pkwy, Secaucus, NJ 0709420 Meadowlands Pkwy
OpenSun 9:00 am - 5:00 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 - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
agile-urgent-care-secaucus
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Recent patient review

Doctor was outstanding in his care instructions.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$180
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$60

Available times

4.91(542 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

555 West Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304555 West Side Ave
OpenSun 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 - 3:45 pm
  • SatClosed
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
chai-urgent-care-jersey-city
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Recent patient review

Easy to make an appointment and to check-in. Staff are friendly and accomodating
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown
$125

Available times

4.83(4.2k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

201 Marin Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07302201 Marin Blvd
OpenSun 9:00 am - 3:00 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
promptmd-jersey-city-urgent-care
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Recent patient review

So efficient and good. The nurse and PA were both professional and had a great bedside manner. I felt heard and helped.
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$150

Available times

4.33(885 reviews)
3540 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 073073540 John F. Kennedy Blvd
OpenSun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • FriClosed
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun11:00 am - 5:00 pm
urgent-medical-care-mri
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Recent patient review

Very fast and efficient. Everyone was very knowledgeable and courteous.
COVID Test
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

4.92(817 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

309 1st St, Hoboken, NJ 07030309 1st St
OpenSun 9:00 am - 3:00 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
promptmd-video-visit
Book online

Recent patient review

It was super convenient to book my appointment online in advance and was able to submit all paperwork and IDs directly. I used the virtual visit/telemedicine option and it was a very seamless experience. I was done in roughly 25 minutes from wait time, to completion of my appointment. The provider was friendly and very helpful, and was able to send in a prescription for my needs. I would definitely recommend.
COVID Test
Results in < 1 hour

Available times

4.81(4.6k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

309 1st St, Hoboken, NJ 07030309 1st St
OpenSun 9:00 am - 3:00 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 - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
promptmd-hoboken-urgent-care
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Recent patient review

This is my favorite place to obtain care. The provider and staff are friendly. The examine room is extremely clean and the wait time is always super short when I use solve to book appointments online.
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$150

Available times

4.61(1k reviews)
1000 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 070301000 Washington St
View hours of operation
  • Mon10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • SunClosed
better-life-pharmacy-hoboken
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Recent patient review

Attentive, professional staff; short wait time. Easy to schedule appts.
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

Available times

4.84(1.5k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

4100 Park Ave, Weehawken, NJ 070864100 Park Ave
OpenSun 9:00 am - 3:00 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
promptmd-weehawken-urgent-care
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Recent patient review

The staff was polite and efficient. The doctor was skillful and caring.
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min

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4.58(503 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

301 54th St, West New York, NJ 07093301 54th St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SunClosed
better-life-pharmacy-west-new-york
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Recent patient review

Very friendly and super fast, will definitely visit again
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Clear self-pay prices

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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$220
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$95

Available times

4.83(53 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

240 Atlantic Ave, Cobble Hill, NY 11201240 Atlantic Ave
OpenSun 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
pm-pediatric-urgent-care-cobble-hill-ny
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Recent patient review

Highly recommend this urgent care. The excellent care and friendly staff makes the visit go smoothly and stress free. Knowing that the doctors treats your child as if they were they’re own.
PCR Test
Time to results unknown
Antigen Test
Rapid
Time to results unknown

Available times

3.4(5 reviews)
395 Pearl St, Brooklyn, NY 11201395 Pearl St
View hours of operation
  • 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
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
empire-city-labs-brooklyn-heights
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Recent patient review

great turn around time and easy access to report
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Clear self-pay prices

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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$75

Available times

330 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019330 W 58th St
View hours of operation
  • 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
medical-offices-of-manhattan-columbus-circle
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days

Available times

4.8(1.1k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their clean offices

Sparkling Clean

44 Jones St, Newark, NJ 0710344 Jones St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • SunUnknown
citylife-health-newark-physicals-and-vaccines
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Recent patient review

My experience is always wonderful when I come see the dr
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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
Results in 1-5 days
$100
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$100

Available times

4.69(170 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

420 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249420 Kent Ave
OpenSun 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 - 3:45 pm
  • Sat 6:30 pm - 11:59 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
chai-urgent-care-south-williamsburg
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Recent patient review

My experience was fast, friendly and very attentive from staff! The provider was very informative of what he was doing. And also asked questions before he began.
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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 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$125

Available times

4.98(52 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

45 Jones St, Newark, NJ 0710345 Jones St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • SunClosed
citylife-health-express-care-newark
Book online

Recent patient review

Made my appointment online arrived at facility checked in online. Staff came out to car to complete Covid test. Fast, convenient and safe
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
Results in 1-5 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$100

Available times

211 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022211 E 51st St
View hours of operation
  • 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 - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
medical-offices-of-manhattan-midtown-east
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days

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 Jersey City?

    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 Jersey City?

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

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Jersey City 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 Jersey City?

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

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Jersey City 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 Jersey City?

    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 Jersey City?

    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)

Easy and fast COVID testing

- Verified patient on 2/26

I visited the clinic in the midst of a snow storm for COVID testing and the staff showed up despite the horrible weather. Right after they got to the clinic they started working. They were working really hard to make sure everyone will get tested. They are my heroes. Thank you so so so much for your hard work!

- Verified patient on 12/17

Very efficient and although expensive it is worth it for the quality of care and attention. Pricing for CoVID testing included antigen and rapid PCR.

- Verified patient on 9/19

Went for a Covid test and everyone was very friendly and patient with all my questions. It was my first nasal swab too and the nurse and doctor were very kind and took time to talk me through the procedure and answer all of my questions. Would definitely go back

- Verified patient on 11/6

Arrived shortly after 7 AM to wait in line for 8 AM opening as COVID testing slots are limited. Shortly before 8 AM a member of staff provided QR code to check in. I am glad to have arrived early as they ran out of testing slots quite quickly. Front desk staff have an unenviable job and do it with courtesy. Medical team was gracious, efficient, professional as well.

- Verified patient on 11/18

I went in for a COVID test because it is required for my job and the nurse that did my test asked if I was vaccinated. When I said I wasn’t she got an attitude with me and was unpleasant. PromptMD should assure that their staff remains impartial regardless of their personal opinions. You are meant to be professionals.

- Verified patient on 8/14

Selma is the best covid test administrator ever. Thank god for her light hand approach to a very uncomfortable test.

- Verified patient on 2/27

Only place I trust for my covid test, staff is also really friendly.

- Verified patient on 9/30

Went in for a covid test and they were very organized!

- Verified patient on 11/17

I went to take a Covid test. Great experience overall with scheduling, communication and care

- Verified patient on 12/9

Clean facility, staff member that took our covid test was extremely friendly and sweet. Would recommend to friends to get their covid test here.

- Verified patient on 5/10

Lots of paperwork for a covid test

- Verified patient on 1/7

Long line, they lied to us about it being free and the fact that our appointments didn’t mean anything. Had an appointment for 4pm got my nose abused at 5:15. I’ve had 20+ Covid tests for college and that one hurt the most. I thought my nose was gonna bleed.

- Verified patient on 12/20

2nd time at PromotMD for Covid test. Friendly staff, process was easy and they explained everything quickly. Highly recommend for the Paulus Hook area of Jersey City.

- Verified patient on 4/1

From front desk to finish covid test. All the staff were very efficient, friendly and patience. They explained everything to you and you wound know what to expect. They are very professional.

- Verified patient on 8/7

Aside from the wait time due to Covid testing, the facility and staff were awesome! The nurse that helped us was so gentle and professional! Would highly recommend this place!!

- Verified patient on 12/30

Everyone there was very nice and the wait for the COVID test didn’t feel long at all

- Verified patient on 1/11

Excellent experience. This place is extremely organized and the staff was very friendly. Being that so many people are going in for Covid tests now, I was quite impressed with how smoothly that process went, and I felt very safe, as well. Highly recommend!

- Verified patient on 11/13

Quick and easy, very nice staff! I only trust them for my covid test

- Verified patient on 9/30

I went in for a COVID test. The sign in process was quick and easy. The nurse that did the test was personable and kind. Great experience.

- Verified patient on 2/12

Jersey City 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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