Where and How to Get a COVID-19 Test in the Greater Houston Area
HOUSTON – Whether you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, there are dozens of places to take a COVID-19 test in the Houston area.
If you need a test, your primary care physician or emergency care center may be able to help, and the cost may be covered by your insurance.
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There are also several free test options in the Houston area. Some are open to everyone, while others can be reserved for local residents. Government programs can cover the costs of those who are uninsured. You may also need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for free testing from specific vendors.
Typical symptoms include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you are having a health emergency, and not just symptoms, you should call 911.
Here is a list of Houston area testing options, costs, and other requirements.
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?
While there are certain guidelines that differ depending on a person’s immunization status, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or have been referred for. get tested by their health care provider or health service. .
The CDC says most people should get tested if they have had close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Close contact is defined as contact within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period.
– For those who are fully vaccinated, they should get tested three to five days after known exposure to a person suspected or confirmed of COVID-19 and wear a mask in indoor public places for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
– The CDC says people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months and have recovered do not need to be tested after exposure until they develop new symptoms.
The CDC also recommends testing unvaccinated people who have participated in activities that put them at higher risk because they cannot physically distance themselves. These activities include traveling, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor environments.
For international travelers, a COVID-19 test or COVID-19 recovery documentation is required before travelers board a flight from a foreign country to the United States, regardless of their vaccination status. The CDC says international travelers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, arriving in the United States are still encouraged to take a test three to five days after travel.
Houston Department of Health
Sites affiliated with the Houston Health Department offer free testing. Testing does not require proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance. Appointments are not necessary. The Department of Health operates both contextual testing sites with different locations and times as well as fixed testing sites with consistent times and locations. Click here to find out more.
Harris County Public Health
The HCPH sites offer free tests. Results should come back within 24 to 48 hours. Appointments are not necessary but are preferable. Click here to find a test site and make an appointment. You can also call 832-927-7575 for testing information.
Fort Bend County
Testing is free to residents of Fort Bend County at Fort Bend County sponsored locations. Results can take up to three to five business days. Appointments are compulsory. Call (281) 633-7795 to make an appointment to be tested for COVID-19 at the Fort Bend County sponsored location. Click here for more information.
CVS offers testing at no additional cost through an insurance or federal program for the uninsured. CVS says those with insurance shouldn’t have to pay a reimbursable fee for a covered COVID-19 test, but patients should check with their health plan to confirm. People without insurance will need to provide their social security number, driver’s license or ID card to submit the cost of the test to the federal program for uninsured people. Click here to learn more, find a location, and schedule a test.
Curative offers free testing at thousands of sites across the country, including in Houston. The tests are self-collected. Patients should receive their results digitally within one to two days. Click here for locations and to make an appointment.
Those who are determined to be eligible for the test can get tested free of charge when billed to your insurance or the government. The test is available for ages 2 and up. Same day appointments may be available. The results of molecular tests are usually available the next day. Click here to find locations, see if you are eligible and make an appointment.
Walgreens offers free drive-thru tests for ages 3 and up in select locations. If you have insurance, you will be asked to present your insurance card at the appointment and the laboratory can invoice your insurer. To get tested, you can complete an online questionnaire, choose a location, and schedule a time for your test. Click here for more information and locations.
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AT A PRICE
Some test costs may be covered by insurance. Check with your insurer before getting tested to find out how much you may have to pay.
Legacy Community Health – Multiple locations
Legacy Community Health has filters at the entrance to all clinics open for in-person appointments in Houston, Baytown, and Beaumont. Legacy will only test those who test positive. Legacy accepts most HMO / PPO, Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare. The cash price for a COVID-19 diagnostic test is $ 80 for self-paying patients. Some patients may be eligible for a sliding scale rate that would reduce the cash price by $ 80. Click here to find out more.
Higher Level Emergency Care – Multiple Locations
With over a dozen locations in the Houston area, Next Level Urgent care offers several different testing options including PCR testing, rapid antigen testing, and a Biofire respiratory panel at varying costs. Insurance may cover part of the costs. Appointments are accepted but appointments are recommended. Find the list of costs for people with and without insurance by clicking here.
MedExpress – Multiple locations
MedExpress offers rapid antigen tests and PCR lab tests to send. The costs may be covered by your insurance. Click here to find out more.
West Island Emergency Care – Galveston
No appointment is necessary for COVID-19 testing at West Isle Emergency Care. They offer rapid tests as well as send PCR tests. Insurance may cover part of the costs. Click here to find out more.