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Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (Utica)

Access Medical Centers

4.79(3.5k reviews)
1623 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 741041623 S Utica Ave
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Recent patient review

The staff was great and friendly. Can’t wait to get sick again…..Kidding
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COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Tulsa, OK

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

COVID testing & Rapid testing near me in Tulsa, OK

Find and book COVID testing and rapid testing appointments in Tulsa and get same-day results. Convenient, top-rated providers with same-day testing.
<strong>COVID testing & Rapid testing near me</strong> in Tulsa, OK Illustration
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Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (Utica)

Access Medical Centers

4.79(3.5k reviews)
1623 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 741041623 S Utica Ave
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

The staff was great and friendly. Can’t wait to get sick again…..Kidding
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Video Visits
4.8
113

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

As low as $49 per visit

Recent 5-star patient review

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

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Just Kids Pediatrics, Tulsa Midtown Urgent Care and Primary Care

Just Kids Pediatrics

5.0(12 reviews)
3516 E 31st St, Tulsa, OK 741353516 E 31st St
OpenFri 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 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Love love love Doctor Shipman! Thanks for your care!
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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
$130
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in 15 min
$130
access-medical-centers-tulsa-brookside

Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (Brookside)

Access Medical Centers

4.82(2.3k reviews)
1217 E 48th St, Tulsa, OK 741051217 E 48th St
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everyone was friendly and efficient. Got in and out quickly. Very pleased with my visit.
my-doctor-urgent-care

My Doctor Urgent Care

My Doctor Urgent Care

4.91(1.2k reviews)
7153 S Yale Ave, Tulsa, OK 741367153 S Yale Ave
OpenFri 8:15 am - 6:15 pm
  • Mon 8:15 am - 7:45 pm
  • Tue 8:15 am - 7:45 pm
  • Wed 8:15 am - 7:45 pm
  • Thu 8:15 am - 7:45 pm
  • Fri 8:15 am - 6:15 pm
  • Sat10:15 am - 3:30 pm
  • Sun10:15 am - 3:30 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I was Covid tested in my vehicle so I can’t give an account about the cleanliness but the guy who swabbed me was very good and nice
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 1-3 days
$260
Antigen Test
Rapid
Results in < 1 hour
$160
access-medical-centers-tulsa-garnett

Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (Garnett)

Access Medical Centers

4.71(4.5k reviews)
2929 S Garnett Rd, Tulsa, OK 741292929 S Garnett Rd
OpenFri 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everyone was very friendly. Did not have to wait long. Doctor had great bedside manner!
access-medical-centers-tulsa-riverside

Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (Riverside)

Access Medical Centers

4.76(3.3k reviews)
9716 Riverside Pkwy, Tulsa, OK 741379716 Riverside Pkwy
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Was very nice to my daughter and showed her what all she needed to do to help her along
access-medical-centers-tulsa-e-81st

Access Medical Centers, Tulsa (E 81st)

Access Medical Centers

4.73(2.7k reviews)
10221 E 81st St, Tulsa, OK 7413310221 E 81st St
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everyone from the point of entry to the PA was very kind and attentive. Short wait time. Check-in was easy and quick. The atmosphere is very calm. The PA was very informative about the reason for the visit and what was going on and why. They were very kind to my child and eased his worries. Will definitely be coming here in the future should we have any another urgent care needs. Thankyou for everything.
access-medical-centers-bixby

Access Medical Centers, Bixby

Access Medical Centers

4.78(2.3k reviews)
11717 S Memorial Dr, Bixby, OK 7400811717 S Memorial Dr
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Everyone there was extremely nice! It was a pleasant experience. I will be recommending to everyone!
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown
access-medical-centers-sapulpa

Access Medical Centers, Sapulpa

Access Medical Centers

4.66(471 reviews)
1305 E Taft Ave, Sapulpa, OK 740661305 E Taft Ave
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

This was my first time using this clinic. Everything was great except even with an online appt. and being the first appt of the day (and first person to check in) I still waited over 30 min before being taken to a room. Dr. was very knowledgeable, thorough and kind....answered all my questions.
access-medical-centers-owasso

Access Medical Centers, Owasso

Access Medical Centers

4.74(5.7k reviews)
13616 E 103rd St N, Owasso, OK 7405513616 E 103rd St N
OpenFri 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Dr Jones is the best!
access-medical-centers-skiatook

Access Medical Centers, Skiatook

Access Medical Centers

4.72(2.8k reviews)
2254 W Rogers Blvd, Skiatook, OK 740702254 W Rogers Blvd
OpenFri 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 - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

I didn’t catch the nurse’s name but she was a joy. Stevie is always great and the woman that was working the front desk was also kind. I do wish that the rooms had soap or at least hand sanitizer so when the patient blows their nose, they can at least clean their hands. Every time I go, there is no soap or hand sanitizer available.
access-medical-centers-claremore-blue-starr-dr

Access Medical Centers, Claremore (Blue Starr Dr)

Access Medical Centers

4.78(6.6k reviews)
401 W Blue Starr Dr, Claremore, OK 74017401 W Blue Starr Dr
OpenFri 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 - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Book online

Recent patient review

Answered the phone quickly and gave excellent information. At our visit everyone was friendly and professional. A lovely change!
Antigen Test
Time to results unknown
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Weaver Drug Testing Laboratory

Weaver Drug Testing Laboratory

1619 S Boulder Ave, Tulsa, OK 741191619 S Boulder Ave
Call now
central-regional-health-center-tulsa-health-department

Central Regional Health Center, Tulsa Health Department

Central Regional Health Center

315 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104315 S Utica Ave
OpenFri 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
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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walgreens

Walgreens

Walgreens

2323 W Edison St, Tulsa, OK 741272323 W Edison St
OpenFri 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
  • Sun12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Call now
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Walgreens, Hillcrest Medical Center

Walgreens

1145 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 741041145 S Utica Ave
OpenFri 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
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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labcorp

Labcorp

Labcorp

533 N Gilcrease Museum Rd, Tulsa, OK 74127533 N Gilcrease Museum Rd
OpenFri 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Mon 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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walgreens

Walgreens

Walgreens

1611 E 15th St, Tulsa, OK 741201611 E 15th St
OpenFri 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mon 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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St. John Clinic Urgent Care

St. John Clinic Urgent Care

1.0(11 reviews)
1717 S Utica Ave, Tulsa, OK 741041717 S Utica Ave
OpenFri 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Call now
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Tulsa Clinical Research

Tulsa Clinical Research

1705 E 19th St, Tulsa, OK 741041705 E 19th St
OpenFri 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
  • Mon 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
Call now
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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

May 10, 2022
The nation's flu positivity test rate reached nearly 10 percent in mid-April, making it the first time such an increase has occurred so late in the flu season since 1982 (NBC News)
May 6, 2022
The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, according to a preprint version of a large U.S. study that counters assumptions in other studies that it was more transmissible but less severe. (Reuters)

COVID Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost?

    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 Tulsa?

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

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Tulsa 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 Tulsa?

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

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

    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?

    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)

Went in for dreaded Covid test...signed in, and waited in car til called. 3-4 minute wait in lobby then started exam...was out of there in 1 hr. Received txt saying I was signed in and where in line I was.

- Verified patient on 1/27

I use access urgent regularly and have never been disappointed !!! Highly recommend! Was there for sun and weed allergy today. But also for Covid diagnosis last September and Covid test! Negative than goodness!!! Great service!

- Verified patient on 5/27

We went in around 6 for covid testing. It was clean and we did not have a wait. They checked us in and we went had the rapid test, waited in the room and actually had a doctor who gave us the results and what to expect from covid. Very nice people who took time to not just test but examine and give us information. Great experience.

- Verified patient on 12/31

I had a rapid Covid test. They were quick and professional. I was impressed that it was performed by a physician. If I ever need this again, I’m going to skip CVS and return here.

- Verified patient on 8/14

I thought I signed up for Covid test with 2 day wait for results; instead, I got the rapid response version and the results in about 10 minutes. The quick test/results worked out great! I liked my nurse and the PA-C who delivered the test results to me.

- Verified patient on 8/4

Specific requirement for COVID test prior to travel. 2nd time I have used this facility, little more difficult this time to schedule as the would book more than a couple of days out. Staff was fantastic both times and I highly recommend

- Verified patient on 10/15

Easy & quick check in (new patient and I had three sheets to complete that didn’t require a full health h history. Insignificant wait time. Quick COVID testing. I estimate the total time there at 15-20 minutes.

- Verified patient on 12/23

My family & I have been to this location 3 times now, each time for rapid Covid testing. I appreciate that we’ve been able to stay in our car & have the staff come to us. Each one has been receptive, attentive & thorough. At our most recent visit, it was suggested my son have flu & strep testing in addition to Covid, & it’s a good thing because his strep test was positive & the doctor came out to deliver the news. I would recommend My Doctor Urgent Care to others, & I have.

- Verified patient on 10/25

we received excellent care at this urgent care and would highly recommend it to other families. We went in with my daughter for a Covid test and the doctor was so thorough to make sure we got excellent care to find out what actually was going on with her because she did not test positive for Covid. great quality care. I also had to call back to get a note for her school and they took care of everything

- Verified patient on 10/1

I scheduled for a drive up rapid Covid test. The online scheduling was super easy and they had great availability for me. When I arrived they got to me early and I was out with my results in under 30 minutes. Emily made an unpleasant test as pleasant as she could. She was great.

- Verified patient on 12/8

It was ok. My only upset was after I got my covid test, I had to wait in the back room for over a hour. Then the doctor came in and told me it would be another hour before my results came back. So I waiting a whole hour just for them to tell me it would be a whole another hour.

- Verified patient on 11/2

I didn’t have an appointment for my daughter because they were booked. They took her as a walk-in. We were in and out in about 1 hour and 15 minutes (on a Sunday morning). I was pleased that we were seen so quickly, and got the covid test results back two hours after leaving the center. I would definitely recommend this place.

- Verified patient on 10/4

I started out at the Access UC on Riverside for COVID test and lingering symptoms after my husband was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. The receptionist inside the Riverside location was so rude and said they reached their cap on COVID tests. She did not offer to help redirect me, but we had an Access helpline number, and that person sent us to Garnett. I am SO glad I was seen at the Garnett facility. Everyone was beyond friendly, I felt so comfortable, I received great care, and I am now resting back home. Your staff at Garnett is wonderful. They definitely work to exceed the standards of care. Thank you so much. I used to only go to the Riverside location, but I will drive the extra miles from now on.

- Verified patient on 9/20

Husband & I had to have a covid test. His was positive mine was negative. The Dr was very helpful & compssionate. I'm a cancer patient so he told me to get in touch with my doc. Told me to isolate. I was very pleased with his concern

- Verified patient on 11/11

I have had two drive up Covid tests at this facility. The staff evaluate you and take time to talk to you about your symptoms and offer solutions. Unlike most places that test for Covid. Very caring staff. I would definitely recommend!

- Verified patient on 2/15

I went there for a Covid test because of a sinus and upper respiratory infection and my employer insisted I get tested for Covid before being allowed to return to work. Dr. Stacey was awesome, and even sent a prescription to my pharmacy to treat my condition.

- Verified patient on 2/24

I needed to have a covid test done for my 11-year-old. They gave me a quick appointment. Staff friendliness was not very good considering I am a worried mother. The doctor gave me the test result with absolute cold and insensitive bedside manner for my situation(despite the fact that my daughter tested positive and my world and hopes collapsed in a second) He gave me a bunch of common info papers and left me with a million unasked equations. Do I recommend that place? I guess, if you are desperate.

- Verified patient on 8/29

Went for a Covid test because I went to a place where you self administer and didn’t trust it. They gave the good test the one where the Q-tip touches your brain. All good no Covid but getting the longer test just to make sure.

- Verified patient on 9/17

I got a curbside covid test. There was a lot of people ahead of me. It took an hour for my turn, which isnt much time since there was about 9 ahead of me.

- Verified patient on 7/23

This was my first time using your services and I was surprised on how safe & easy it was to get the Covid test. I was really happy on my quick results. 3 of us from the same company all had ours done together at the same time. Of course we had already scheduled our appointments on line. Also easy to do. I am sure that I will use your facility again.

- Verified patient on 12/5

Tulsa 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 Apr 25, 22

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