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We have published an updated guide to At-Home COVID-19 Testing. In it, you will find information on potential costs, the type of tests, and different testing providers.
The CDC has updated their guidelines on when and why to use a self-test. Self-testing is one of several strategies to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission. Visit the CDC website for more details.
For translated resources in multiple languages and videos of at-home testing kit instructions by manufacturer, see University of Minnesota National Resource Center.
Order tests from the Federal Government
Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 3 sets of 4 free at-home tests. If you already ordered your first or second set, order a third today. Visit covidtests.gov to order your free tests. Need help placing an order for your at-home tests? Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
Pick up a test at a local community distribution center
Many locations across the state are partnering with CDPHE and local health departments to distribute at-home rapid antigen tests. Use the Map of Test Distribution Locations to find a location near you. There is a limited amount of test kits available, and it is possible a location may not have supply on-hand when you visit.
Information after testing
Once you have your test results, please follow these instructions on how to interpret and report your results.
If you have symptoms, you should get tested immediately and isolate. You may visit Testing for COVID-19 for a list of more than 100 free state-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites across the state.
The CDC recommends COVID-19 Testing for:
CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
More information is available on who should get tested and when from the CDC.
A negative test on a particular day does not guarantee that a person will not develop COVID-19 at any point in the future. For 14 days after exposure, regardless of your quarantine length, you should:
Watch this video to learn about the difference between the tests available.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms. Check with your healthcare provider if you think you have been re-exposed after 3 months of your last positive COVID-19 test and have developed symptoms.As COVID-19 continues to circulate, individuals who had a positive COVID-19 test may be re-exposed to the virus. Many questions about immunity after infection remain and scientific studies are underway to determine whether someone who had an infection before can get be reinfected. Find where you can get tested.
Testing options that are more accessible for people who are blind and low vision and who use a smartphone are now available from the federal government. When connected to a smartphone application, these tests provide audible testing instructions and results to make the COVID-19 testing process more private and independent for people who are blind and low vision.
To receive the more accessible COVID-19 at-home tests from the federal government, click here to order online or call 1-800-232-0233. Each order will include two rapid-antigen tests. For more information visit: https://acb.org/accessible-COVID-tests.
If these tests will not meet your needs, please contact the Disability Information and Access Line of the Administration on Community Living for additional COVID-19 testing resources: 1-888-677-1199.
These community health centers provide primary care services as well as COVID-19 testing services.
These clinics accept patients regardless of insurance status.
Other FREE testing locations are listed on our testing site at www.tchd.org/COVID-19Testing.
Antibody or serology tests look for antibodies in your blood to determine if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
A COVID-19 antibody test should not be used to diagnose a current infection with the virus. It can take up to 1 to 3 weeks after the infection for your body to make antibodies.
A positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected.
You may test positive for antibodies even if you have never had symptoms of COVID-19. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.
Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. But even if it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies may provide or how long this protection may last.
You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.
A negative antibody tests means you may not have ever had COVID-19 infection. Or, you could have had a current infection or been recently infected and your body had not made antibodies at the time your blood was drawn for the test.
Read more about testing for past COVID-19 infections on the CDC website.
Find where you can get tested at www.tchd.org/COVID-19Testing.
Most testing sites ask that you bring the following items to get tested:
Review the testing site’s website before you get tested. Not all items are required at every site and some sites may require additional information.
The health care provider where you got tested will give you your testing results. Some sites have a phone number or portal for you to access and get your results.
When you get tested ask how you will be able to get your test results.
Lab turn-around times vary based on where the test is being processed and number of tests being run currently. When you get tested, ask what their test/lab turn-around time is. You can also ask when registering or pre-registering so you will know what to expect. Lab turn-around times can change.
Rapid testing can be useful to quickly help determine if you have COVID-19. Rapid molecular and rapid antigen testing is widely available in the Denver Metro Area. Many urgent care centers and some Walgreens locations offer rapid testing. We encourage you to call the site or visit their website before you go to find out if they offer rapid testing and what type of rapid testing they offer.
Antigen tests with positive results are usually highly accurate. However, negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test. If you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 but need to be tested, a molecular test may be the better test to use.
To find a location near you, visit the Colorado COVID Testing Locator. Some free sites offer rapid testing as well as the urgent cares that are listed.
If the family is insured through Medicaid or other insurance. Dispatch Health can provide COVID testing in the home, 720-647-5329.
They can test if someone is exposed or if experiencing symptoms
They bill insurance directly (as an Urgent Care visit) - there is a fee for the service and a fee for the lab work as well.
If families do not have insurance the cost is $275.00 (visit) + $100.00 (lab work)
Some states and countries require a negative test before entry. Often, these tests must be completed within 24-72 hours before arrival. In some cases, the tests must be a molecular test and rapid antigen tests will not be accepted. Find out which type of test the travel location will accept. It is a good idea to check with your airline before you go to make sure you can enter/exit your destination easily. Learn more about testing requirements at the Centers for Disease Control Testing and Air Travel Webpage.