How do I get tested for COVID-19?
At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.
Though hospitals may request lab testing for some high-risk patients, emergency rooms should not be considered a primary source for patient-requested testing.
What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?
Healthcare providers may decide to have you first tested for other illnesses, like the flu, based on your possible exposure history and any other symptoms you might have.
- Individuals who feel very ill should seek appropriate care. If it is an emergency, call 911. If it is not an emergency but you feel sick enough to need a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office. If you don’t have a doctor, call 211 for a list of clinics near you. If necessary, visit your local urgent care center.
- Call before you go. If you have flu-like symptoms or have reason to think you might have COVID-19, let your healthcare provider know before you visit. This will help avoid exposing anyone else at the provider’s facility.
Can I pick up or buy a test kit for COVID-19?
No. At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order and are not commercially available to the public.
What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? I want to be tested.
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider and self-monitor for fever, cough, or symptoms of respiratory illness. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.
I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?
I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.
If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines.
Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately - Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face. This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidelines.