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Who should get tested for COVID-19?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed, get tested. If you are exposed to a COVID-19 case, get tested 3-5 days after the exposure if you are unvaccinated, and 5-7 days after the exposure if you are vaccinated. Getting tested will provide the diagnosis you need to determine your next steps.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and testing is the most accurate when symptoms are present. Symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
How do I get tested?
You can order four free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests per household at COVIDTest.gov and starting November 20th, 2023, four more additional tests per household may be ordered, bringing the total to eight free COVID-19 rapid tests per household.
Quick and easy locations for rapid or PCR COVID-19 testing include your regular health care provider, urgent care, and your local pharmacy. Most insurance plans cover COVID-19 testing, but for those without insurance, free testing is available through the CDC’s No-Cost COVID-19 Testing program in partnership with local pharmacies. Find a location.
Testing Resources for Community Sites
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is distributing free at-home tests to schools, nursing homes, community health centers, rural health clinics, food banks, and other community locations to ensure communities have widespread access to tests.
Tests can be ordered by emailing [email protected] and requesting an order form. There is no established limit to the number of tests a facility may request, and there is no cost associated with these tests. If you have multiple facilities, HHS prefers you to send multiple requests with multiple points of contact to assist with logistics.
Shipment of the tests takes two to three weeks. The services of this program will last as long as HHS has availability of tests.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by emailing [email protected].
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive, you will need to isolate yourself [external link], take care of yourself and monitor your symptoms.
- Talk with your healthcare provider for guidance about your care. Consider a telehealth visit or nurse line [external link] before seeking in-person care.
- The people who have been in close contact with you will need to take precautions. Read more about isolating yourself [external link].
- If you’d like to receive text messages with information about support available during isolation, use CDPHE’s support tool [external link].
- Use the CDC's isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19 [external link] to help determine how long you need to stay home, get tested and wear a well-fitting mask in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you test positive and are interested in possible treatments, such as monoclonal antibody treatment, please visit our COVID-19 Treatments webpage.
- Find more information about testing from CDPHE [external link].
- Beginning November 20th, 2023, every U.S. household can order four more additional tests, bringing the total to eight free COVID-19 rapid tests per household [external link].
- Empezando Noviembre 20 del 2023, todo recidente de U.S. podra ordenar cuatro pruebas adicionales gratis, asiendo esto el total de ocho pruebas rapidas de Corona virus a cada hogar [external link]