Who can be tested for COVID-19?
COVID-19 testing is available to all New Yorkers statewide.

Where can I be tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 Home Test Kits

  • COVID-19 home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests are one of many measures that you can take to protect yourself and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packet information insert for performing the test.
  • Home tests produce rapid results, usually within 15 minutes. They can be used regardless of vaccination status, or whether or not you have symptoms. The vaccine cannot give you a false positive test result.
  • A positive self-administered (parent assisted) test result means that the test has detected the virus and that you should stay home and isolate from others for 10 days. You should notify your employer or school, as well as any close contacts such as household members, relatives or friends, that you have tested positive. A person with COVID-19 can begin spreading it starting two days before having any symptoms or the day that the specimen was collected.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, take steps to protect others regardless of your vaccination status. This includes isolating from others and notifying your healthcare provider and close contacts about your positive test result.
  • A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection. However, a negative result does not rule out infection. Home or self-test kits generally require a second test at least 24 hours following the first test if the first test is negative to ensure the most accurate result. For this reason, test kits are usually sold in sets of two. If you have COVID-19 symptoms and a self-test indicates that you are negative, it is recommended that you have a healthcare provider or a lab perform a molecular test to confirm.

    *Please be advised that if you test positive for COVID-19 using a self-test only, the Westchester County Department of Health is unable to provide you with an isolation order and a release from isolation letter to return to work and/or school and will not be calling you. If you require a release letter, you can print and sign the New York State Affirmation of Isolation Letter.

Free COVID-19 Home Test Kits Available by Mail
Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them.

What should I do while I wait for my test results?
If you have symptoms of the disease, or if you have been in contact with someone who is infected, you will be asked to stay apart from others. This is also called isolation or quarantine. COVID-19 spreads easily. Staying apart helps stop the disease from spreading. 

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
  • If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and you should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
  • Individuals who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
  • Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.

View New York State Isolation and Quarantine Tables

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will also get a call from a public health case investigator. Visit New York State's Contact Tracing and Case Investigation Frequently Asked Questions for more information about contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.

What should I know about Rapid COVID-19 testing?
Rapid antigen tests are highly specific but not very sensitive. Therefore, if you receive a negative result from a rapid COVID-19 Antigen test and/or you have symptoms of COVID-19 and receive a negative result from a rapid COVID-19 Antigen test, you must have the negative result confirmed by a conventional COVID-19 RT-PCR test.  

What should I know about COVID-19 antibody testing?
Many people have been inquiring about a blood test that can confirm if they have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. This type of blood test is called an antibody or serology test, and it checks your blood by looking for antibodies that show if you had a previous infection with the virus.

As antibody testing becomes available in the community, the public should be aware of the limitations of these tests. COVID-19 antibody testing or serology testing should not be used for:

  • The diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Establishing immunity to COVID-19
  • Determining when persons can safely return to work
  • Determining when to discontinue social isolation measures or appropriate precautions, including the use of PPE

COVID-19 antibody or serology testing is useful for:

  • Testing a population or large groups of people to determine the aggregate percent of a population that has been infected
  • Clinical studies

If you choose to have an antibody or serolgy test, see information from the New York State Department of Health on What Your Antibody Test Results May Mean.

Can COVID-19 be treated?
People infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment in a hospital might be required. Call your healthcare provider to find out more about what care and treatment is available to you. 
 
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