Getting tested for COVID-19 is the only way to confirm whether you are infected with the coronavirus. Since there are lots of questions surrounding COVID-19 testing, like where can you get tested, who can get a test, and how much does it cost, we’ve put together this COVID-19 testing FAQ guide to help answer your questions.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and stay home. Next, call your healthcare provider for guidance based on your unique symptoms and health history. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 922-CARE or call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for assistance.
If COVID-19 testing is recommended, you can visit your local Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care to be evaluated.
If you are symptomatic or have a possible exposure to COVID-19 and testing is recommended, you can visit your local Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care to be evaluated. Walk-ins are accepted.
Rapid testing differs from PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction) in what the tests detect, turnaround time, accuracy, and more.
Rapid test: The rapid test detects protein fragments specific to the coronavirus. Turnaround time for results is quick and can be reported within 15 minutes in some cases. The rapid test can be performed in a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital.
PCR test. The PCR test is considered a more accurate test than the rapid test. It detects genetic material (RNA) specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even in people who are asymptomatic. Turnaround time is generally between 24-48 hours, but results can be returned sooner or later depending on how much volume a location is experiencing. The PCR test can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, hospital, or your car.
Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care locations accept walk-in evaluations and will test only if deemed necessary by an on-site healthcare provider based on the testing criteria.
For additional testing sites in your area, use the NYS Department of Health test site finder.
Who can and cannot receive a COVID-19 test depends on whether a person is showing symptoms, which test site they visit, the availability of tests, and other factors. Generally, testing is determined by healthcare providers and local and state health departments.
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider or the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to determine whether you can receive a COVID-19 test.
According to the NYS Department of Health, COVID-19 testing at a test site run by New York State is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider, or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. While the test is free, there may be a cost associated with seeing or speaking to a provider.
Always check with the testing site and your insurance in advance of being tested to confirm any costs associated with the test.
Antibody testing is the testing of antibodies in your system to help determine if you have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. Rochester Regional Health Laboratories offer antibody testing, and Immediate Care locations but only as part of an urgent care visit.
Please stay at home and self-isolate while awaiting your test results. Limit your contact with people and pets, wear a face mask when others at all times, disinfect frequently touched objects, and practice proper hand hygiene.
Follow these 5 steps to help stop the spread of the coronavirus:
1. Hands - wash them often, for at least 20 seconds
2. Elbow - cough into it, not your hands
3. Face - don’t touch it
4. Space - keep a safe, 6-foot distance between yourself and others
5. Stay - home if you can, especially if you may be sick
This varies depending on the test and where you are getting the test. Check with health officials for the most accurate timeline.
Typically, you will receive your test results within 3-5 days. Be sure to provide accurate contact information when registering for your COVID-19 test so you can be contacted promptly with your results.
If you test positive, you will be contacted by your local health department and required to isolate at home. Follow up with your healthcare provider and keep them updated on your symptoms. Please limit your contact with other household members, stay home and follow all health department instructions.
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