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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.

Read the Testing Blueprint for Opening America and its Addendum to learn more about the role of federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector.

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.

>> Watch the video

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

At this time, the FDA has not authorized any COVID-19 test to be completely used and processed at home. However, the FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs)  for certain COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests to be used with samples collected by a person using a home collection kit that is sent to a laboratory for processing and test reporting. In general, a healthcare provider determines whether a person can use a home collection kit as explained in each test’s EUA. Complete list of COVID-19 tests that have received FDA authorization.

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.

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.

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 on August 19, 2020