Key times to get tested for COVID-19 include:
COVID-19 testing sites are available in Fairfax and the surrounding jurisdictions. Use this Virginia Department of Health (VDH) tool to search for a testing site in Virginia near you.
At-home testing allows a person to collect a specimen and perform either a molecular or antigen test at home according to directions provided with the kit.
Getting an at-home test:
Using at-home COVID-19 tests:
The FDA recommends repeat testing after a negative result on an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, whether or not you have symptoms. Repeat testing reduces the risk an infection may be missed and to help prevent people from unknowingly spreading the virus
Most at-home COVID-19 antigen tests do not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as molecular tests, like PCR tests. COVID-19 antigen tests may not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus early in an infection, meaning testing soon after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 could lead to a false-negative result (this means the test did not detect the virus when a person is infected), especially if you don't have symptoms.
Positive antigen test results are typically accurate. If you receive a positive result initially or after a repeat test, this means the test detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus and you most likely have COVID-19.
More at-home tests tips:
Call your health care provider to discuss your symptoms and get scheduled for a test. Places such as urgent care centers, community health centers, and community-based clinics across the region also offer testing.
You can search for a location using the VDH testing site search tool or by calling a provider directly. Most clinics are set up to swab patients for testing on-site and some offer drive-up and walk-up testing options.
Qualified uninsured individuals may now be able to access free COVID-19 laboratory testing through Quest Diagnostics. This testing is offered as part of a program from the CDC. To see if you qualify and make an appointment, visit the Quest website.
The Health Department offers COVID-19 testing at its clinics to people who have symptoms; those who do not have access to testing options available in the community; those identified as close contacts; and for those returning from international travel. Appointments are required. Call 703-324-7404 to schedule a testing appointment.
If you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, effective treatment is now available that can prevent illness from becoming worse leading to hospitalization and death.
Several types of treatment are available, which may be used at different times or in different groups of patients. Talk with your healthcare provider to get more information about the range of options.
Here are three things to know about
Medications to treat COVID-19 are free, even if you do not have health insurance. While there is no cost for tablets (such as Paxlovid), there may be a co-pay for infusion or injection of a monoclonal antibody product. For those using the Test to Treat program at a pharmacy clinic, health insurance, including Medicaid, also will pay the cost of the consultation. If you do not have health insurance, you would be responsible for the consultation fee.
Learn more about COVID-19 Treatments and Medications.
If you do not have a primary doctor, and you are concerned that you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can contact HealthWorks (703-443-2000) or Neighborhood Health (703-535-5568) to be evaluated and schedule a testing appointment. New patients are accepted with or without insurance and on a sliding scale fee if low-income and uninsured. Priority is given to patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
HealthWorks provides COVID-19 testing free for uninsured patients who meet eligibility for the sliding scale fee and do not already have another primary doctor. Patients should call 703-443-2000 to get a telehealth evaluation by a medical provider prior to scheduling a test.
Neighborhood Health provides COVID-19 testing free for uninsured patients who meet eligibility for the sliding scale fee. Patients should call 703-535-5568 to get a telehealth evaluation by a medical provider prior to scheduling a test.
Inova Cares Clinics for Families provides primary care services for patients with Medicaid or low-income uninsured patients up to 400% Federal Poverty Guideline and offers limited COVID-19 testing.
The Fairfax Health District has many low-cost health care resources for individuals who lack health insurance. See: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Health Care Options for the Uninsured
You can also call our Coordinated Services Planning service at 703-222-0880, TTY 711 (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) to talk with someone about your needs and receive advice on services available to you.
There are two types of testing available for COVID-19. COVID-19 tests can detect either SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or antibodies that your body makes after getting COVID-19 or after getting vaccinated. Learn more about the types of tests available:
Virginia Department of Health:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Coronavirus Testing Basics
HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR): Test to Treat
12000 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035