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4.74(19 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 clean offices

Sparkling Clean

119 US-22, Green Brook Township, NJ 08812119 US-22
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 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
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
carbon-health-green-brook-township
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Recent patient review

The staff was incredible. So nice to us. The Dr and nurses were very thoughtful and thorough.
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Metuchen, NJ

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Check your symptoms
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5.0(7 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

365 Convery Blvd, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861365 Convery Blvd
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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
metrodoc-perth-amboy
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$125

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4.0(3 reviews)
1503 St Georges Ave, Woodbridge Township, NJ 070671503 St Georges Ave
View hours of operation
  • MonClosed
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
rapidmd-walkin-colonia
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4.83(4.3k 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

65 US-1, Metuchen, NJ 0884065 US-1
OpenSun 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Mon11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Tue11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Wed11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Thu11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Fri11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sat11:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Sun11:00 am - 10:00 pm
kinder-pediatric-urgent-care-virtual-visit-totowa-union-woodbridge
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Recent patient review

Fast and professional Check in was amazingly fast Booking online was super easy and quick Used my insurance Definitely would recommend Check in Very convenient Appointment done online Great bedside consultation Cost what I expect
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Results in 1-3 days
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Results in < 1 hour

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4.5(4 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

907 Oak Tree Ave, South Plainfield, NJ 07080907 Oak Tree 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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
afc-urgent-care-nj-virtual-visit
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Recent patient review

Thorough and patient not rushed. Very pleased
COVID Test
Results in < 1 hour

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4.55(763 reviews)
561 US-1, Edison, NJ 08817561 US-1
OpenSun 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 2:00 pm
immediate-care-virtual-visit
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Recent patient review

Great care and very professional
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Antigen Test
Results in 15 min
$150

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4.66(4.7k reviews)
561 US-1, Edison, NJ 08817561 US-1
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
immediate-care-edison
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Recent patient review

This is the first time I ever visited Urgent Care. I had a great experience with the staff. They were so friendly, professional and knowledgeable! I will recommend this place to anyone.
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$75
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$100

Available times

4.6(202 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

121 French St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901121 French St
View hours of operation
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:15 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:15 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:15 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:15 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SunClosed
better-life-pharmacy-new-burnswick
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Recent patient review

As I walked in I was greeted right away, it was a genuine greeting so that had me smiling right from the door. Staff was super friendly, completed the test and got the results within less than an hour. I wish every pharmacy was like them. Thank you.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$220
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$25

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4.74(164 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

4885 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 103094885 Arthur Kill Rd
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-tottenville
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Recent patient review

Helpful and courteous staff and care
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
$125
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$125

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4.65(3.8k reviews)
418 NJ-18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816418 NJ-18
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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
optum-urgent-care-east-brunswick
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Recent patient review

My family's 3rd covid test there~ always done quickly with a very friendly attitude
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$129
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$189

Available times

4.74(19 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 clean offices

Sparkling Clean

119 US-22, Green Brook Township, NJ 08812119 US-22
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 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
  • Fri 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
carbon-health-green-brook-township
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Recent patient review

The staff was incredible. So nice to us. The Dr and nurses were very thoughtful and thorough.
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
$139
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$65

Available times

4.37(3.2k reviews)
1569 US-22, Watchung, NJ 070691569 US-22
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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
optum-urgent-care-watchung
Book online

Recent patient review

The service I received he’s very good service. The waiting room was clean and well organized. I did not wait long to get into see a doctor. All the employees were friendly and kind just seem like a very good place to go for treatment. I will continue to use this location in the future
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$129
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$189

Available times

4.78(1.2k 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

300 South Ave, Garwood, NJ 07027300 South Ave
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 - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sat10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SunClosed
better-life-pharmacy-garwood
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Recent patient review

No waiting! Friendly pharmacists. Spotless pharmacy. I will go there with all my pharmacy needs from now on! I highly recommend this pharmacy.
PCR Test
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Results in < 1 hour
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Rapid
Results in 15 min

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4.71(3.5k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

415 W St Georges Ave, Linden, NJ 07036415 W St Georges 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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
optum-urgent-care-linden
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Recent patient review

This is definitely the place to go for all around great care! The entire staff is very courteous and professional and really attentive.The facility is clean, the medical staff is friendly and take the time to listen and explain. I highly recommend this facility to anyone who may need walk-in urgent care!!
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PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
$129
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$189

Available times

4.63(30 reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in reviews for their friendly staff

Friendly Staff

84 Veronica Ave, Franklin Township, NJ 0887384 Veronica Ave
OpenSun 9:00 am - 7:00 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 - 7:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
carbon-health-somerset
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Recent patient review

The staff are really professional and friendly. I was able to get the care I needed under the circumstances
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PCR Test
Rapid
Results in 1-3 days
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in same day
$65

Available times

4.8(2.6k 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

149 Pierce St, Franklin Township, NJ 08873149 Pierce St
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
live-urgent-care-somerset
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Recent patient review

This was a very good experience and very helpful.
PCR Test
Rapid
Results in same day
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4.83(527 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

580 Raritan Rd, Roselle, NJ 07203580 Raritan Rd
OpenSun 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 - 4:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • Sun 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
friendly-urgent-care-roselle
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Recent patient review

Was so sick with COVID . Treated me professionally and fast . Would definitely go back . They were all so thorough
PCR Test
Results in 1-3 days
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Results in 15 min

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4.76(211 reviews)
This clinic has shorter than average waiting periods

Short Wait Time

This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

95 Dermody St, Cranford, NJ 0701695 Dermody St
View hours of operation
  • 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • SunClosed
excell-clinical-lab
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Recent patient review

Quick and easy place to get a covid test. I was in and out in no time.
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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
$130
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$50

Available times

5.0(11 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

85 Old Stage Rd, Spotswood, NJ 0888485 Old Stage Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 4:00 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
live-urgent-care-spotswood
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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
$199
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$99

Available times

4.79(2.4k reviews)
This clinic is rated highly in patient reviews and ratings

Highly Rated

355 US-22, Springfield, NJ 07081355 US-22
OpenSun 10:00 am - 10:00 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 - 10:00 pm
pm-pediatric-urgent-care-springfield-nj
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Recent patient review

Pretty good personal, as well as the staff.. Quick to give results..
PCR Test
Time to results unknown

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4.6(3.6k reviews)
200 US-22, Springfield, NJ 07081200 US-22
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 - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
optum-urgent-care-springfield
Book online

Recent patient review

It was very chill. Quiet, quick and sufficient. I’m looking forward to getting results but either way- I feel very good about the whole experience. I got tested for practically everything and felt a lot more sure of myself after.
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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 1-3 days
$129
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$189

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 Metuchen?

    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 Metuchen?

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

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Metuchen 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 Metuchen?

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

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

    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 Metuchen?

    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)

I would absolutely recommend for Covid testing... The experience was very quick and easy

- Verified patient on 4/20

Went in for COVID test . Was fast and easy

- Verified patient on 10/2

Went for a COVID Test and the doctor was very friendly. I was in and out. Thank you

- Verified patient on 4/15

I was under the impression that we were getting a rapid covid test done, but it was actually a send out. Other than that, no complainrs

- Verified patient on 4/13

I called and they suggested telemedicine at first and Dr. Reyes was available 15 min after I submitted the paperwork. He spoke with a positive and friendly tone and made me feel welcomed to drive over as their last patient of the day for a precautionary COVID Test. Upon arrival the nurse at the front was friendly and she was gentle with the swab and spoke empathetically towards me about me being a teacher and just having a genuine understanding and appreciation for what we both do. They have e me a turnaround time before leaving and I have no doubt in their professionalism in the timeliness of the results.

- Verified patient on 10/7

Quick process to setup covid testing

- Verified patient on 6/15

It was easy to speak with a doctor from home and get COVID tests for my kids.

- Verified patient on 9/4

Helpful, very quick covid test

- Verified patient on 12/9

Good got in and out quick for Covid test

- Verified patient on 3/11

COVID testing quick and efficient

- Verified patient on 1/30

The staff is always prompt, courteous and pleasant. Facility is clean and they have been good to me when I have to go for weekly COVID testing. I recommend.

- Verified patient on 9/13

The doctor was pleasant and friendly, I told her my symptoms and she asked if I wanted a Covid test. I said yes this was the purpose of my visit. She informed me you were out of rapid tests. Had I known this, I never would’ve booked the appointment, as rapid testing was the purpose of my visit, and your website update said you were currently offering rapid tests to those who make a doctors appointment. I was misled. And wasted precious time. Not acceptable.

- Verified patient on 11/28

i was in and out in about 5 minutes for my covid test

- Verified patient on 11/14

All went well - however I’m still waiting for covid test results from 5 days ago

- Verified patient on 6/15

Quick, friendly visit at the clinic. Thank you for helping people without cars get our COVID tests!

- Verified patient on 9/25

Called for my son to get the covid test due to possible exposure and it was painless. Got an appt and within 2 days I got his results.

- Verified patient on 6/15

I went here twice for COVID testing. The staff is amazing and the doctor was exceptionally kind and extremely informative.

- Verified patient on 10/31

COVID test for the whole family. The nurse came out to our car. She did a great job keeping the little ones calm. Very nice and efficient.

- Verified patient on 5/5

Went for covid test staff was friendly and well mannered

- Verified patient on 11/13

Came in for a rapid covid test and the service was fast and safe.

- Verified patient on 10/2

Metuchen 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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