HOUSTON – Whether you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, there are dozens of places in the Houston area where you can get a COVID-19 test.
If you need a test, your GP or emergency center may be able to help, and your insurance company can cover the costs.
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There are also several free trial options in the Houston area. Some are open to everyone, while others are restricted to local residents. Government programs can cover costs for those who are not insured. You may also need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for free trials from certain providers.
Typical symptoms are fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you’re having a health emergency, and not just symptoms, call 911.
Here is a list of testing options, costs, and other requirements in the Houston area.
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?
Although there are some guidelines that differ based on a person’s vaccination status, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all people get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or if they come for a test by their health care provider or health department were transferred.
The CDC says most people should be tested if they have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined as contact within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.
– Fully vaccinated individuals should get tested three to five days after known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until they get a negative test result.
– The CDC says people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months and have recovered should not be tested after exposure unless they develop new symptoms.
The CDC also recommends testing for unvaccinated individuals 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 spaces.
International travelers must have a COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 prior to boarding a flight from a foreign country to the United States, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC says international travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who arrive in the US will still be asked to have a test three to five days after the trip.
Here are the symptoms of COVID-19
Some of the most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. But as the virus continues its rapid spread, additional symptoms are identified.
Houston Health Department
Sites affiliated with the Houston Health Department offer free trials. No proof of residence, citizenship or insurance is required for the exam. Appointments are not required. The health department operates both pop-up test sites with different locations and schedules and fixed test sites with standardized schedules and locations. Click here to learn more.
Harris County Public Health
HCPH sites offer free trials. Results should come back within 24 to 48 hours. Appointments are not required, but preferred. Click here to find a test page and make an appointment. You can also call 832-927-7575 for testing information.
Fort Bend County
Testing is free to Fort Bend County residents at Fort Bend County-sponsored locations. The result can take up to three to five working days. Appointments are required. Call (281) 633-7795 to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test at a Fort Bend County sponsored location. Click here for more information.
CVS offers no-expense testing through an insurance company or federal program for the uninsured. CVS says policyholders will not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses for a covered COVID-19 test, but patients should reach out to their health plan for confirmation. Those who are uninsured will need to show their Social Security number, driver’s license, or state ID in order to submit the cost of the test to the federal uninsured program. Click here to learn more, find a location, and schedule a test.
Curative offers free trials in thousands of locations across the country, including Houston. Tests are collected by yourself. Patients should receive their results digitally in a day or two. Here you can find locations and make an appointment.
Those eligible for a test can get tested for free if your insurance or government bills them. The test is possible from 2 years of age. Appointments on the same day are possible. Molecular test results are usually available the next day. Click to find locations, check if you’re eligible, and make an appointment.
Walgreens offers free drive-through tests for people 3 years and older at select locations. If you are insured, you will be asked to show your insurance card at the appointment and the laboratory can bill for your insurance. To be tested, you can fill out a questionnaire online, choose a location and make an appointment for your test. Click here for more information and locations.
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Some testing costs can be covered by insurance. Check with your insurance company before getting tested to see how much you might have to pay.
Legacy Community Health – Multiple locations
Legacy Community Health has screeners at the entrance to all clinics open for face-to-face appointments in Houston, Baytown, and Beaumont. Legacy only tests those that test positive. Legacy accepts most HMOs / PPOs, Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare. The cash price for a COVID-19 diagnostic test is $ 80 for self-payers. Some patients may be eligible for a tiered fee that would reduce the $ 80 cash price. Click here to learn more.
Next Level Emergency Care – Multiple Locations
With more than a dozen locations in the Houston area, Next Level Urgent Care offers a variety of testing options including PCR testing, rapid antigen testing, and a Biofire airway panel at various costs. The insurance can cover part of the costs. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are recommended. A list of the costs for the insured and the insured can be found here.
MedExpress – Multiple locations
MedExpress offers rapid antigen tests and PCR laboratory tests for shipping. Your insurance company can cover the costs. Click here to learn more.
West Isle Urgent Care – Galveston
An appointment is not required for the COVID-19 test at West Isle Urgent Care. They offer both rapid tests and shipping PCR tests. The insurance can cover part of the costs. Click here to learn more.