Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing

Available testing, rigorous contact tracing, enhanced laboratory capacity, and data sharing are all critical parts of preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19.

Types of Testing

There are two kinds of tests available for COVID-19:

  • A viral test tells you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Molecular and antigen tests are types of viral tests.  Viral tests are also called diagnostic tests.
  • An antibody test tells you if you previously had an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This type of test is also called a serological test.

How Can I Get Tested for COVID-19

The process and locations for COVID-19 testing vary from place to place. To find out how to get a no-cost test in your community, select your state below.

Find A Testing Location Near You

Community-Based Testing Sites

HHS has partnered with pharmacy and retail companies to make COVID-19 testing available to more Americans in more communities across the country. COVID-19 tests are also available at health centers nationwide.

At-Home Tests

If you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, you and your healthcare provider might consider either an at-home test or an at-home collection kit.

  • There are FDA-authorized COVID-19 at-home tests available that allow you to collect your own sample and test it with a system that gives you results in minutes at home.
  • There are FDA-authorized COVID-19 at-home collection kits that allow you to collect your own sample and then send it to a laboratory for analysis.

See the full list of tests that have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA.

Making Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tests Safe and Available

HHS continues to safely accelerate the authorizations and availability of COVID-19 tests.

HHS is working directly with governors to develop COVID-19 testing plans that set specific targets in each jurisdiction to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, states or territories may choose to authorize laboratories within its jurisdiction to develop and perform COVID-19 tests. More information is available in the FDA Policy for COVID-19 tests.

Learn more about the testing approval and validation process:

Expanding Access to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing

State, territorial, and tribal funding provides support to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts, and implement related activities.

  • CDC will provide $10.25 billion to states, territories, and local jurisdictions.
  • The Indian Health Service (IHS) will provide $750 million to tribal health programs.
  • This funding is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, signed into law by President Trump on April 24, 2020.

Health center funding supports the expansion of Health Center Program COVID-19 testing capacity including support for the purchase of personal protective equipment, procurement and administration of tests, and laboratory services.

Licensed pharmacists may order COVID-19 tests and administer them to their patients, which expands testing capabilities and makes testing more accessible for those who need it.

Rapid, point-of-care testing is a critical element of the national strategy for testing, especially to support vulnerable patients, outbreak investigations, and frontline healthcare workers.

  • This test is performed at the same location as where the patient’s sample is collected and it can provide COVID-19 results in under 13 minutes.
  • HHS is providing these tests to states, territories, and tribes, as well as to remote and rural populations, nursing homes, hotspot areas, and for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
  • FDA Letter of Authorization for ID NOW COVID-19 (March 27, 2020).

Rescission of Guidances and Other Informal Issuances Concerning Premarket Review of Laboratory Developed Tests
As part of HHS's ongoing department-wide review of regulatory flexibilities enacted since the start of COVID-19, the department has determined that the FDA will not require premarket review of laboratory developed tests absent notice-and-comment rulemaking, as opposed to through guidance documents, compliance manuals, website statements, or other informal issuances.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed