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.

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.

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, updated August 27, 2021).
Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed