COVID-19 Testing Information
UPDATED November 20, 2023
|If you are feeling sick with any symptoms of COVID-19, even before you get tested, please take these steps to prevent spreading the virus to others:|
When should I get a COVID-19 test?
You should get tested for COVID-19 if you have any COVID symptoms or if you were exposed to someone with COVID. It's a good idea to test before and after travel, as well as before gatherings, especially when events may include those who are at higher risk of severe illness.
Where can I get a COVID-19 test?
Testing is available from local health care providers, pharmacies, and urgent cares. At-home tests are also available from pharmacies and community locations.
Here are some tools to find a testing site near you:
- Statewide testing locator
- Community Based Pop-Up Rapid Antigen Testing Events (events are hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)
- CDC's "free" COVID test locator
How much does testing cost?
Please check about costs before going to any testing site. At certain locations, some types of tests may be free or covered by insurance, while others have an out-of-pocket cost. The public health emergency ended on May 11, 2023 - so costs may have changed from earlier during COVID. If you have insurance, call your insurance provider to ask about testing costs and what is covered. If you need help with getting insurance, contact the Washtenaw Health Plan!
Note: the saliva PCR testing with LynxDx in Ann Arbor closed on 6/30/23.
(also known as self-tests or over-the-counter tests)
At-home rapid tests can be taken at home or anywhere, they're easy to use, and they produce quick results. You can use these tests regardless of vaccination status, whether or not you have symptoms, or if you have had a known or unknown exposure.
When using rapid tests, the FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you receive a positive result initially or after a repeat test, this means the test detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus and you most likely have COVID-19.
Consider using a self-test immediately before indoor gatherings, if you develop symptoms, or if you were exposed to someone with COVID (if you have been exposed but don’t have symptoms, wait 5 days before testing).
Make sure to carefully follow all of the manufacturer's instructions and expiration dates when performing the test. You can call 211 if you have any questions about interpreting test results, isolation guidance, or notifying close contacts.
Expiration dates: Many at-home test kit manufacturers have extended expiration dates. Visit the FDA’s list of authorized at-home test kits here to check if this applies to your at-home test.
See a list of FDA-authorized at-home tests here. The Health Department has a small number of free rapid tests and has been distributing them in high-need areas where exposed individuals may not be able to access public testing sites.
If you test positive for COVID-19 using an at-home test:
Please see our "What to do if you are sick" page for guidance. We are not collecting data on positive at-home tests. You do not need to report positive at-home tests to the health department. We will not issue letters for employers/schools/travel for at-home test results. If you will need proof of your positive test for work, school, or travel, please get a COVID-19 test from a provider.
Where to get at-home rapid tests:
- Federal government: As of September 2023, every home in the US can order an additional 4 tests for free. Another round of 4 free tests was made available starting November 20, 2023. Order at covid.gov/tests or call 1-800-232-0233 for help.
- Public libraries: Households are eligible to receive up to 5 free at-home test kits from participating libraries, while supplies last.
- From the Health Department at 555 Towner in Ypsilanti. Anyone can walk in to the Health Department during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9-11am and from 1-4pm) to pick up free rapid tests. Up to six tests are available per household. Just walk up to the reception area and ask for tests.
- Note: if you are currently testing positive for COVID-19 or if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not enter the building. Email [email protected] or call 734-544-6700 and we can arrange for someone to bring tests out to your car with minimal contact.
For those with health insurance:
- Please contact your insurance provider for information about costs associated with getting at-home tests.
For Michigan residents interested in a research study:
- A National Institutes of Health study called STOP COVID-19 may provide at-home test kits to participants. This is a twelve-week study that requires you to download a smartphone app and answer questionnaires. Some study participants will perform testing when prompted by the app. All the tests will be delivered to your doorstep. You could earn up to $100 in gift cards for your time. If you are interested in participating, please click here for more information and to join.
The nationwide Test to Treat initiative provides quick access to free treatment for COVID-19. Through this program, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – receive a prescription from a health care provider, and have their prescription filled all at one location.
These "One-Stop Test to Treat" sites are available at hundreds of locations nationwide, including pharmacy-based clinics, federally qualified health centers, and long-term care facilities. Search for a Test to Treat location here.
A call center 1-800-232-0233 is available every day from 8:00 am to midnight ET to get help in more than 150 other languages. The Disability Information and Access Line is available to help people with disabilities access services. Call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm ET or email [email protected].
How can I get a free ride to a testing site?
If you need help with transportation to a COVID-related service, the "Vaccinate Washtenaw" program can help. This free transportation program can also be used for COVID-related travel including rides to get vaccinated, get a booster dose, pick up masks, or get a COVID test. Call 844-900-4892 and use the code “Vaccinate Washtenaw” to book. Open to anyone regardless of age or AARP membership. This program is supported by the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, AARP Ride@50 Program, and Feonix Mobility Rising.
How can I get my test result?
You will be contacted when your results are available. Note that results sometimes take a bit longer than expected. Contact your primary care provider for results, or the health care facility where you got tested. We will not be able to provide you with test results.
The Washtenaw County Health Department is only notified of positive test results for Washtenaw County residents. We typically are not notified of negative results. If you do not live in Washtenaw County, we will not have your information - even if you took your test here. Contact the local health department where you live for help.
What should I do while waiting for my test result?
- Stay at home except to get medical care.
- Stay away from other people in your home.
- Use a separate room and bathroom if possible.
- Wear a mask if you go into shared spaces.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Call ahead before visiting a doctor. See our What to do if you’re sick page for information on managing symptoms and when to get medical care.
- Make a list of anyone you came in contact with 48 hours before your symptoms started, or since you were exposed.
What should I do if I test positive?
See our what to do if you’re sick page for information on what to do next.
Health Department staff may be in touch with you to connect you with needed resources during isolation and conduct contact tracing to make sure people you’ve had close contact with go into quarantine. Pick up the phone if we call you to help us slow the spread of COVID-19! We will NEVER ask you for social security, credit card, bank account, or immigration status information. Learn more about how contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
What if I test negative?
A negative diagnostic test only means you were not infected on the day of the test. There have also been reports of false negatives. Continue to practice prevention measures to protect yourself and others, especially if you are feeling sick or had known exposure to COVID-19.
How can I get a letter saying I took a test, or that I tested positive/negative?
Contact your primary care provider for this information, or the health care facility where you got tested.