Find a Coronavirus Testing Site Near You
May 27, 2020
Who should get tested for COVID to see if they are currently infected?
Free and convenient testing sites for COVID/coronavirus are available (on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary Get tested if you:
- Have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell
- Have been in close contact with someone who tests positive
- Work in a nursing home, shelter or adult care facility, or as a first responder or health care worker
I am currently ill with symptoms consistent with COVID. Should I be tested?
At this time, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should receive a swab or saliva test. Call your provider if you think you may need to be tested. You can also click here to find a community testing site near you. Healthfirst members outside NYC can click here.
Since antibodies do not usually become detectable until 1-3 weeks after symptoms begin, they are NOT useful to diagnose a current illness as COVID-19.
If you have mild to moderate symptoms, stay home while you wait to be tested. Do not leave home except to get essential medical care (including testing for COVID-19) or to get basic needs such as groceries (if someone can’t get them for you). If you have more serious symptoms, please seek medical care right away.
Should I be tested after recovering from confirmed COVID?
No, repeat testing is not recommended at this time. As above, for patients recovering at home, it is possible to assume that someone can no longer spread the virus if:
- at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (that is, symptoms have cleared up) and
- at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, even without testing to ensure there is no more virus present.
Note that guidance is slightly different for those who had infection without symptoms. Please contact your primary care physician (PCP) for specific guidance.
Should I be tested for antibodies after recovering from suspected COVID to show that my past illness was, in fact, COVID?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID antibody testing should not be used at this time to find out if you are immune (“protected”) to COVID. Although it is understood that the presence of antibodies (specifically, IgG antibodies) could indicate some level of immunity to COVID-19, more research is needed on this subject. Even if antibody testing is conducted, the result should not change guidance on preventive steps to take. Everyone, regardless of test result, is still recommended to practice physical distancing and use protective equipment, like face masks.