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 call your healthcare provider's office or visit your local Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care to be evaluated. If you have severe or life-threatening symptoms go to an Emergency Room or call 911.
If you are symptomatic or have a possible exposure to COVID-19 and testing is recommended, you can often receive COVID-19 testing right in your primary care provider's or pediatrician's office. You can also walk-in your local Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care to be evaluated.
Rochester Regional Health Immediate Cares also offer fee-for-service asymptomatic testing for event and travel COVID-19 testing.
There are at least two different types of rapid tests: rapid antigen tests (such as BD Veritor™, Abbott BinaxNOW™ and Quidel Sofia) and rapid molecular tests (such as Abbott ID NOW™). 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, urgent care, community setting or hospital. Rapid tests are less sensitive than PCR tests but may be sufficient in many circumstances; rapid tests are also less expensive.
The PCR test is considered the gold-standard and most sensitive COVID-19 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. Sample collection for the PCR test can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, hospital, or your car; testing is then performed in a laboratory.
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. Many primary care provider and pediatrician offices also offer COVID-19 testing for their patients.
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.
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:
Typically, you will receive your test results within 24-48 hours. Be sure to provide accurate contact information when registering for your COVID-19 test so you can be contacted promptly with your results.
Time to receive test results varies depending on the test and where you are getting the test. Check with your testing location for the most accurate timeline.
When testing is performed by Rochester Regional Health, by signing up for our MyCare patient portal you will have immediate access to your own test results as soon as they are available.
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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