Where and When to Get Tested for COVID-19

A health care worker administers a swab test for COVID-19. Source: Wiki Commons, U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sarah Marshall

COVID-19 cases are on the rise statewide and predicted to continue increasing into January, at least.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has advice if you’re considering getting tested for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. If you’ve been exposed to the virus but do not have symptoms, ADPH recommends isolating yourself and waiting for three or four days after the exposure to get tested. That’s to give the virus time to replicate to the point it can be detected by the tests.

ADPH also recommends only the PCR nasal swab test to determine whether you have been exposed to the virus. Blood tests to for antibodies are not as reliable at this point.

While waiting for your test results, you should continue isolating yourself at home until you’ve received a negative test result.

You can find a testing site on this page kept by the Alabama Department of Public Health. At the top of the list, click on the test site tab.

The Jefferson County Department of Health also keeps an updated list of local testing sites.

The ADPH has more information about what to do if you’re sick, such as managing symptoms and reducing the chance you’ll pass the disease along to others in your household, along with information on how to avoid contracting the disease and how to care for someone is sick. It’s under the Resources section on this page.