When should you get tested for COVID-19?
Please use the following guidance on when to seek testing for COVID-19:
- If you are having a procedure or surgery: follow your clinic’s directions on if testing is required and when to get tested.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms: get tested as soon as you can and stay home until you have the results.
- If you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 and do NOT have symptoms: quarantine according to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and get tested on day 5, if possible. If you are seeking care during your quarantine, contact your clinic prior to your visit.
- If you tested positive with a home antigen test: you do not need to be tested with a lab test at a test site to confirm the result; presume that you have COVID-19 and self-isolate according to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
If you are otherwise healthy with mild symptoms and cannot find testing availability, you should presume that you have COVID-19 and you should self-isolate according to current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Please DO NOT go to the emergency department only for a COVID-19 test.
Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms and when to seek emergency medical attention.
Other COVID-19 testing options
To find other COVID-19 testing locations, visit King County Public Health or Washington State Department of Health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has COVID-19 Test to Treat Locator where people are able to get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – receive a prescription from a health care provider, and have their prescription filled all at one location.
At-home antigen tests
Please note that rapid at-home antigen tests fail to detect some symptomatic, and most asymptomatic (no symptoms) COVID-19 cases. UW Medicine recommends using home antigen tests only if you have symptoms. They cannot be used for pre-procedure testing.
Report your positive at-home test results
People who use at-home test kits and receive a positive result should call the state COVID-19 hotline, 1.800.525.0127 then press # (press 7 for Spanish), as soon as they receive results. Language assistance is available.
Testing for the visually impaired
Those with visual impairment can work with a visual interpreter to complete any type of COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR at-home test through the National Federation of the Blind. Get help from a visual interpreter.
Testing locations will follow this holiday schedule:
|Labor Day||September 5||Harborview, UWMC- Northwest are open; All other sites closed|
|Veterans Day||November 11||All sites open|
|Thanksgiving Day||November 24||All sites closed|
|Native American Heritage Day||November 25||All sites open|
|Christmas Day||December 26||All sites closed|
Frequently asked questions
Will I need to leave my car?
Can someone drive me to the testing site?
Do I need to bring ID and insurance information?
How long is the typical wait at the drive-through?
Wait times at testing sites can vary by location.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel my testing appointment?
MyChart appointment rescheduling and cancellation instructions can be found on the "Visits" page upon log in.
When will I receive my test results?
For those who get tested at UW Medical Center – Northwest or Harborview Medical Center, if you sign up for a MyChart account, you can get your test results there.
For more information on what to do while you wait, read our follow-up instructions at: https://www.uwmedicine.org/coronavirus/testing/follow-up-instructions.
When should someone visit an urgent care clinic?
Our UW Medicine providers will evaluate your symptoms, rule out other illnesses and can give the COVID-19 test as needed.
Can I get a COVID-19 antibody test at UW Medicine?
Can children be seen at the test sites?
What if I don't want to swab myself or my own child?
What do I need to know about travel requirements?
Go to the King County COVID-19 testing page to learn more about travel requirements.