Testing for COVID-19 FAQs
Learn more about COVID-19 testing procedures, results and payment.
Should I get a test?
You should consider getting a COVID-19 test if you are symptomatic or suspect that you have been exposed to the virus or to someone who tested positive.
Where can I get tested?
- If you currently are not experiencing any symptoms, please call 667-214-1800 to schedule a COVID test during one of our clinic sessions.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, please call 667-214-1800 to schedule a telehealth visit with a provider to discuss your symptoms.
What does the test consist of? What is the process?
Generally, the test involves a swab (q-tip) inserted into the back of the patient’s nostrils or the lower portion of the nose (both methods are accurate and effective). Most patients report minor, temporary discomfort at most.
How long does it take to receive results? How do people who are tested get their results?
Generally, the results will be available within approximately two to seven days, depending on laboratory testing demands and resources. In most cases, you will have the option to be contacted with your results via text message or phone call or to retrieve your results through an online patient portal.
Please Note: Many labs are currently returning test results within 1-2 business days. However, due to the high volume of tests being processed across the country, it may take longer than expected to receive your results. Labs across the state are working as quickly and carefully as possible.
What do I do while waiting for my results?
Stay at home and self-isolate. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Limit contact with pets and animals; wear a face covering when you are around others; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms get worse, please call your health care provider’s office. If you are having a medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing, call 911. Tell the 911 operator that you were tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for results.
What do I do if my test results are positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive, you should self-isolate at home for ten days after your symptoms started or three days after your last fever, whichever is longer, and if your symptoms are improved. Continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing, disinfecting “high-touch” surfaces, and frequently washing clothing and bedding. Limit contact with pets and animals. Practice physical distancing within the home and wear a mask around other people.
If I do have COVID-19, what happens?
The vast majority of people recover from this disease in one to two weeks. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms and will be advised to recover at home and isolate themselves from others. Any individual whose symptoms get worse should call a healthcare provider.
Will my positive COVID-19 test results be reported to public health entities?
Yes. Positive COVID-19 test results will be reported to the appropriate public health agency in accordance with applicable Maryland laws and regulations.
If I get COVID–19 once, can I get it again?
There have been a handful of individual cases of people contracting COVID-19 for the second time. Usually, after an infection, your body develops antibodies. These antibodies "remember" a virus if you encounter it a second time and usually provide some degree of protection. This is such a new virus that we don't know how long antibody protection may last.
When can I be around others after having COVID-19?
Talk to your health care provider especially if you have a high-risk underlying health condition or if you are 65 years and older. You may need to stay away from other people longer.
Most people can follow the CDC’s three conditions before being around others:
- It has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appears, AND
- It has been at least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
When around others, remember to maintain six feet of distance and wear a face covering.
Will I have to pay for the COVID-19 test?
Yes, valid insurance is required to obtain a test at Family Medicine. Maryland Medicaid will cover the costs of COVID-19 testing for its beneficiaries.
Will my insurance cover treatment if I test positive for COVID-19?
Health insurance plans cover medically necessary treatment for disease, but the treatment may be subject to deductibles, copayments, and/or coinsurance. You will need to pay those amounts, even if the care is covered. If you have a limited-benefits plan, there may be additional restrictions on what is covered.
If you still have questions or concerns not addressed in these FAQs, please contact your primary care physician or email us at [email protected].