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Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection, should call their healthcare provider for guidance and separate themselves from others.
The CDC recommends COVID-19 Testing for:
For information about testing sites in the area, visit www.tchd.org/COVIDTesting
Call or email your healthcare provider, or a telehealth line or nurseline, to get their advice before going to any health facility.
Contact a free telehealth line or nurseline service
Get text messages that support how to manage your symptoms, access care, and more by using the Colorado COVID Symptom Support tool. Review general questions and answers on the state’s FAQ page.
Call your health care provider before going to the clinic or hospital to be tested. Ask your provider or local clinic if they offer telehealth visits, or call one of Colorado’s nurselines. Your healthcare provider may send you to a place that has testing available. Some testing sites require a referral and to schedule an appointment ahead of time. Check the details of each testing site online for the most up-to-date information.
These clinics accept patients regardless of insurance status.
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.
A transportation guide for a variety of services is maintained by the Denver Regional Mobility & Access Council. This includes the Mile High United Way Ride United program, which is also available through the Mile High United Way 2-1-1 Help Center and phone lines.
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.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Find where you can get tested at www.tchd.org/COVID-19Testing
These community health centers provide primary care services as well as COVID-19 testing services.
Other FREE testing locations are listed on our testing site at www.tchd.org/COVID-19Testing.
COVID-19 testing is covered by all major insurance plans. Contact your health insurer for specific information. If you do not have insurance, review our list of free testing sites.
For assistance with disputing medical bills first contact your insurer, and if problems continue to exist you can reach out to the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative’s (CCHI) Consumer Assistance Program or the Colorado Division of Insurance. Find where you can get tested 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. 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.
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.