If you have symptoms of COVID-19, test immediately. If you do not have symptoms but have been exposed to COVID-19, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before taking a test.
Types of Tests
PCR Tests: PCR tests are the “gold standard” for COVID-19 tests. They are a type of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), which are more likely to detect the virus than antigen tests. Your sample will usually be taken by a healthcare provider and transported to a laboratory for testing. It may take up to 3 days to receive results.
Antigen Tests: Antigen tests are rapid tests that usually produce results in 15-30 minutes. Positive results are very accurate and reliable. However, in general, antigen tests are less likely to detect the virus than PCR tests, especially when symptoms are not present. Self-tests, or at-home tests, are antigen tests that can be taken anywhere without having to go to a specific testing site.
Where To Get Tested
Testing for COVID-19 is widely available throughout New York State with at-home tests or at testing centers.
Order Free At-Home Tests
Order four free at-home COVID-19 tests, available for U.S. households through the federal government.
Buy self-tests (at-home tests)
Buy self-tests (at-home tests) online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Private health insurance may reimburse the cost of purchasing self-tests. Visit FDA’s website for a list of authorized tests. Self-tests are antigen tests.
Find isolation guidance and precautions to take from the CDC if you have symptoms of COVID-19, been exposed, or tested positive.