COVID-19 Testing Information

Who should get tested?

Isolate and get tested right away if you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild.

If you are fully vaccinated or you’ve had COVID-19 before, it may be that something other than COVID-19 is causing your symptoms. We know there is a chance people can get re-infected and that fully vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case). Call a healthcare provider if you have questions about whether you need to get tested.

Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 should get tested. We know there is a chance people can be re-infected with COVID-19. We also know some people can test positive after they have COVID-19 even though they are done with isolation and no longer infectious to other people. The CDC and Utah Department of Health recommends you not get tested after an exposure if it’s been less than 90 days (about 3 months) since you first tested positive for COVID-19. However, if it’s been between 90-180 days (3-6 months) since you tested positive, you should get tested again.

We also know there is a chance vaccinated people can get COVID-19 (called a breakthrough case), so to be very safe we suggest you get a COVID-19 test 5-7 days after you were exposed, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Wait 5-7 days after your exposure to get tested. This lets enough of the virus build up in your body to be detected by the tests. The vaccines do not interfere with the accuracy of COVID-19 tests. You may need to get tested more than one time, depending on what type of test you had, when you were tested, and if you had symptoms at the time of your test. After you get tested for COVID-19, go home right away. Don’t stop at the store, your workplace, or other people’s homes. Stay at home until you get your test result.

Some COVID-19 tests are more accurate than others. Rapid antigen tests work best when someone has symptoms of COVID-19. If you were tested with a rapid antigen test, you may need to get a PCR test to confirm the results. You can learn more about how much COVID-19 testing costs, the types of COVID-19 tests, and how to get your test results at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/testing-locations.

What if I need to get tested for work or to travel?

Some testing locations may provide work and travel related testing. Check with the testing location to see if they offer testing for work or travel. Keep in mind that COVID-19 testing for these types of reasons may not be covered by insurance. Make sure to call your insurance provider to find out if you will be responsible to pay for the test.

The Utah Department of Health has partnered with NOMI Health (TestUtah) to offer two dedicated locations for COVID-19 travel testing:

  • Salt Lake City – Cannon Health building (288 North 1460 West)
  • St. George – Dixie Technical College (610 S. Tech Ridge Drive).

These testing locations have a lane dedicated to travelers who need a COVID-19 test prior to traveling. The sites will also continue to provide COVID-19 testing for all other needs. Travelers may also get tested at other existing COVID-19 testing locations or at private testing companies. Travelers are responsible for making sure testing meets the requirements of their travel destination. Learn more

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COVID-19 testing resources for businesses and event venues


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Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

There are more than 100 testing locations in Utah. Each testing site has different requirements and may offer different types of COVID-19 tests. Use the COVID-19 testing site locator to find a testing location near you or call a healthcare provider.

Find a Testing Location Near You

How to find a COVID-19 testing site:

  • Call a healthcare provider. More clinics and doctor offices are able to provide testing on-site now.
  • Click on the map to find a testing site near you.
    • Enter your address and the GPS locator will give you a list of the nearest testing locations.
      or
    • Click on the “Select filters to apply” arrow and search by the name of the testing provider.
    • Click on the testing location to bring up the information for that testing site.
    • Follow the instructions to register to get tested.

The Utah Department of Health and Fulgent Genetics now offer mail-based (at-home) PCR testing for Utahns who have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19 and:

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  • Live in rural Utah, or
  • Can’t leave their home to get tested.

You must register online to see if you qualify for the free mail-based PCR test. It takes about 4 days for you to get your test results after registering. This includes the time it takes for you to get the test in the mail, take your sample at home, and mail it back to Fulgent Genetics. The test will be shipped to you by FedEx and must be returned to Fulgent Genetics by FedEx. Test results from the mail-based PCR tests are reported to the Utah Department of Health by Fulgent Genetics.

See if you qualify for a free mail-based PCR test
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Is COVID-19 testing free?

Most people will not have to pay for COVID-19 testing.


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures the cost of getting a COVID-19 test is covered at 100% if you have health insurance and you have a medical reason to be tested. This means you have symptoms of COVID-19, you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you have a referral from a healthcare professional or the health department to get tested.

If you have health insurance, you should not be charged for a test no matter what testing site you go to. Healthcare providers are required by federal law to post a cash price for COVID-19 tests. This is to inform health insurance companies what to pay if you get tested by a provider that is out-of-network.

If you have insurance and are receiving an assessment or evaluation for COVID-19 and your healthcare provider decides to test you for COVID-19, you should not be charged for the test or the evaluation visit. If you do receive a bill, contact your provider and your insurance company to resolve the issue or email the Utah Department of Health at COVID19TestingCoverage@utah.gov.

What are the types of COVID-19 tests?

There are three types of tests related to COVID-19.


PCR test: A PCR test tells you if you have COVID-19 right now and could spread it to other people. A PCR test looks for the genetic material of the virus. It is a very accurate test and almost always detects if a person is infected with the virus. PCR tests are processed in a lab and the results can take a few days to get back. PCR tests are usually done by:

  • Nasal or nasopharyngeal swab: A healthcare worker puts a swab into your nose to collect a sample either just inside your nose or reaching further down your throat.
  • Saliva: The saliva test is easier to perform, safer for healthcare workers, and more comfortable for the patient. You spit into a cup or tube and your saliva is then tested. The saliva test is as accurate as the swab test.

Rapid antigen test: An antigen test looks for proteins found on or within the virus. It tells you if you have COVID-19 right now and could spread it to other people. An antigen test is like a PCR test, where a sample is collected with a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab, but you are able to get the results much quicker. Results take about 15 minutes.

Antigen tests can detect only high amounts of virus and are less sensitive than PCR tests. They work best when someone has symptoms of COVID-19. Antigen tests are most accurate during the first 5-7 days of your illness when your viral load is highest.

You may need to get a PCR test to confirm the results of your antigen test. You should get a PCR test within 24-48 hours after you got your rapid antigen test if: 

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19 but your rapid antigen test result was negative.
  • You do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and were not in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 but your rapid antigen test result was positive.

Serology or antibody test: Serology, or antibody tests, may be able to tell if you have ever been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. They do not tell you if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 right now and can spread it to other people. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose current infections. A positive antibody test does not guarantee immunity to COVID-19. A sample of your blood is collected and is used to see if your body has made antibodies to the virus. Your body makes antibodies when it fights an infection. Antibodies in your blood mean, at one time, you were exposed to COVID-19. Antibody tests find these antibodies in your blood and tell you if your immune system has responded to the infection.

You should stay at home until you get your test results back. Do not go to work, school, religious services, extracurricular activities, or anywhere else.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate right away. This means you stay home and away from other people, except to get medical care.

If you were tested by:


Intermountain Healthcare

You may review your results as soon as they’re available through My Health+. You can also visit the website for more information.


Steward Healthcare

If you would like to speak to someone about your health concerns, you can call the case management department at 801-758-3369, or visit the website for additional information.


University of Utah

Your test results will be posted in MyChart. For more information, visit the website.


TestUtah

If you were tested through TestUtah, you should receive an email with instructions on how to get your test result. The email will be sent to the email address you provided when answering the survey. Your results will be available in your Silicon Slopes account. If your account doesn’t show a result yet, then the test is still in process. If you don’t have an account or don’t remember how to access it, call the TestUtah helpline at 801-783-1829.


Any other provider or testing location

Contact the provider where you got tested to get your test results.

What do my test results mean?


A negative test does not mean you won’t ever get sick with COVID-19. It’s possible that you were very early in your infection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then get sick. Continue to monitor for symptoms and if you do get sick or your symptoms change, isolate right away. You may need to be re-tested for COVID-19.

It’s important to wait 5-7 days after your exposure to get tested. This lets enough of the virus build up in your body to be detected by the tests. The COVID-19 vaccines do not interfere with the accuracy of COVID-19 tests. You may need to get tested more than one time, depending on what type of test you had, when you were tested, and if you had symptoms at the time of your test.

Follow the quarantine guidelines if you were exposed to COVID-19, even if you test negative.


Will the health department call me if I test positive or was exposed to COVID-19?

A public health worker will try to contact you by phone, text, or email if you test positive for COVID-19 to conduct a case investigation. Sometimes people call this contact tracing. Right now, health departments across Utah are overwhelmed with the number of people who are testing positive with COVID-19. This means it could take several days for the health department to call you after you test positive. It’s important that you call the public health worker back if they leave you a message. Sometimes, you may not get a call from the health department after you test positive. This can happen if we do not have the right phone number for you or if you choose to not answer our calls.

Some health departments are not able to do contact tracing right now and are focusing their limited and strained resources on case investigations. However, you may get an exposure notification if you had turned this technology on with your phone. If you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 you should follow quarantine guidelines and get tested 5-7 days after the exposure, even if the health department doesn’t contact you.

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