How to Get a Free Drive-Thru COVID Test

How to Get a Free Drive-Thru COVID Test

Drive-thru testing sites are a safe, effective means of administering coronavirus testing that protects both the individual administering the test and those receiving the test.  If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 that include shortness of breath, fatigue, and fever here is how drive-thru testing works and how you can get a free COVID-19 test.

Where to Go for Drive-Thru COVID Testing

Rules for drive-thru testing vary by state.  In some areas drive-thru testing is only available for high-risk individuals, healthcare workers, and first responders.  Availability of drive-thru testing depends on the number of testing kits provided by the state and other factors including weather and demand. Free COVID-19 testing is available to everyone in all 50 states, but not all testing sites, including drive-thru are free.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains a list of free and no-cost testing sites on their website which can be accessed using this link:

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html
  Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19 | HHS.gov*Some locations in these States are operating beyond the HHS-sponsored Community Based Testing Sites and may accept insurance. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed by the President, patients do not have any out-of-pocket costs with their insurance.www.hhs.gov

Why is Drive-thru Testing a Safe Option for Testing?

While there is still much, we don’t know about the coronavirus, one thing we know for certain is that the virus is highly contagious. When you wait to have a test administered in a hospital or clinic there is the possibility that you could be exposed to the virus.  The idea behind drive-thru testing is simple, keeping potentially sick individuals in their cars while administering tests outdoors drastically reduces the risk of spreading the infection to otherwise healthy individuals.

How Long Does It Take to Get Results from Drive-Thru Testing?

Most sites administering drive-thru testing only collect specimens for testing.  The healthcare workers collect samples from you with a nasal or throat swab in a process that takes less than 5 minutes.  Your specimens are sent to a laboratory for testing and getting the results back could take up to a week.  Rapid testing is becoming more available and you may be able to find drive-thru testing sites in your area that can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.   Check with your state’s health department to find out which sites in your area offer rapid testing.

Please note that testing for COVID-19 is not covered by Nova Pathfinder Healthcare in relation to testing for travel, school or employment purposes.

 When to Get a COVID-19 Test 

Testing is currently recommended if you:

·      Have symptoms of COVID-19.

·      Were asked by your County Department of Public Health to get a test because of a contact tracing or outbreak investigation.

·      Were in “close contact” with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.

·      Work- or live-in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, correctional facilities or homeless shelters.

·      Are a person experiencing homelessness.

·      Are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public in the following areas: health care, emergency, food and grocery services, factory workers in food and retail, public transportation, and education.

How to Get a Free Drive-Thru COVID Test

Drive-thru testing sites are a safe, effective means of administering coronavirus testing that protects both the individual administering the test and those receiving the test.  If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 that include shortness of breath, fatigue, and fever here is how drive-thru testing works and how you can get a free COVID-19 test.

Where to Go for Drive-Thru COVID Testing

Rules for drive-thru testing vary by state.  In some areas drive-thru testing is only available for high-risk individuals, healthcare workers, and first responders.  Availability of drive-thru testing depends on the number of testing kits provided by the state and other factors including weather and demand. Free COVID-19 testing is available to everyone in all 50 states, but not all testing sites, including drive-thru are free.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains a list of free and no-cost testing sites on their website which can be accessed using this link:

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html

  Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19 | HHS.gov
*Some locations in these States are operating beyond the HHS-sponsored Community Based Testing Sites and may accept insurance. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed by the President, patients do not have any out-of-pocket costs with their insurance.www.hhs.gov

Why is Drive-thru Testing a Safe Option for Testing?

While there is still much, we don’t know about the coronavirus, one thing we know for certain is that the virus is highly contagious. When you wait to have a test administered in a hospital or clinic there is the possibility that you could be exposed to the virus.  The idea behind drive-thru testing is simple, keeping potentially sick individuals in their cars while administering tests outdoors drastically reduces the risk of spreading the infection to otherwise healthy individuals.

How Long Does It Take to Get Results from Drive-Thru Testing?

Most sites administering drive-thru testing only collect specimens for testing.  The healthcare workers collect samples from you with a nasal or throat swab in a process that takes less than 5 minutes.  Your specimens are sent to a laboratory for testing and getting the results back could take up to a week.  Rapid testing is becoming more available and you may be able to find drive-thru testing sites in your area that can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.   Check with your state’s health department to find out which sites in your area offer rapid testing.

Please note that testing for COVID-19 is not covered by Nova Pathfinder Healthcare in relation to testing for travel, school or employment purposes.

 When to Get a COVID-19 Test 

Testing is currently recommended if you:

·      Have symptoms of COVID-19.

·      Were asked by your County Department of Public Health to get a test because of a contact tracing or outbreak investigation.

·      Were in “close contact” with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.

·      Work- or live-in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, correctional facilities or homeless shelters.

·      Are a person experiencing homelessness.

·      Are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public in the following areas: health care, emergency, food and grocery services, factory workers in food and retail, public transportation, and education.

·      Don’t have symptoms but believe you may be infected now because you were exposed to people who were sick, were around many people who were not wearing face coverings, and/or were not keeping safe distance in the past 2 weeks.

Nova Pathfinder Healthcare is experiencing a temporary service outage for new members in the state of Idaho. For questions or to get a quote contact member services at 833-444-6682.