More than 20 sites across the Fairfax Health District are offering COVID-19 testing for both insured and uninsured residents, and the Health Department urges anyone with symptoms or anyone who is a close contact to someone who is sick to be tested.
“You do not need to wait in line at a drive-through to get a COVID-19 test,” said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, the director of epidemiology and population health. “There are a number of everyday options – from hospitals and urgent care centers to community-based clinics – for testing. In fact, on average more than 1,200 test results are reported to us daily and there is capacity to increase this amount.”
The Health Department suggests that individuals who have a health care provider (such as a primary care physician or health care practice they use regularly) contact that provider directly to ask about testing. Physicians will make an assessment and will order a test, if needed. People can use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s self-checker or the Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDCHECK to help make decisions on when to call their doctor or seek appropriate medical care regarding COVID-19. Anyone interested in being tested must call ahead to the provider.
If your physician’s practice does not offer testing, or if you do not have a primary care practice you use, there are other options. The full list can be found here, and it includes options for both those who have health insurance and those who do not. Types of places offering testing include:
- Urgent Care Centers and Respiratory Clinics
- Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Community-based clinics
Seven CVS Pharmacy locations in the Fairfax area are also now offering drive-up testing to those who meet criteria and register online for an appointment. The testing is free to anyone 18 or older – with or without insurance – and does not require a doctor’s referral.
There are different types of tests for COVID-19. The best test to identify a current COVID-19 infection, whether or not you have symptoms, is a viral diagnostic test. These tests are conducted using a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab to collect a specimen. Test results are usually returned within a few days.
A serology (antibody) blood test may tell you if you have been exposed to COVID-19 at some point in the past. But the serology test is not reliable for confirming an active infection, and medical science has yet to determine if having an infection in the past means you have immunity against the disease.
The Health Department reminds those individuals who lack health insurance to also pursue a establishing a local medical home, in addition to being tested.
“While the immediate need might be access to a COVID-19 test, finding an ongoing source of medical care for your whole family now and in the future is really important for staying healthy and safe during this pandemic,” said Dr. Schwartz.
There are many low-cost health care resources for individuals who lack health insurance, which can be found on Fairfax County’s website, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Health Care Options for the Uninsured.
If you have questions about COVID-19, call the Health Department’s Call Center at 703-267-3511.
More information on COVID-19 testing can be found on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing page.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available.
- Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus
- Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19
- Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19; text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777 for updates in Spanish
- Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page and Health Department Facebook Page.
- Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.