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TOGETHER AGAINST COVID‑19

COVID‑19 Testing IN
HARRIS COUNTY

Getting tested for COVID-19 is critical because 1 in 4 people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms, meaning some infected people do not know they are sick and can continue to spread the disease. In order to get proper treatment and protect others from infection, get tested for COVID-19 if you:

Have COVID-19 symptoms

Including a dry cough, difficulty breathing, fever, and body aches

HAD CONTACT WITH A CONFIRMED CASE

Had close contact (within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

HAVE A REFERRAL

Have been asked or referred to get tested by your healthcare provider.

If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

FREE COVID-19

TESTING

Harris County Public Health provides FREE COVID-19 testing at multiple locations across the county. No insurance or proof of residency is required for free testing. Visit the county’s testing information page to view testing locations and sign up for a free COVID-19 test.

GET TESTED

ABOUT

COVID-19 TESTING

There are two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

VIRAL TESTS

They tell you if you have a current infection.

ANTIBODY TESTS

They might tell you if you had a past infection.

If you think you may be infected with COVID-19, you need to get a viral test. There are two different kinds of viral tests: Rapid tests and PCR test.

RAPID TESTS

Also known as antigen tests, detect protein fragments specific to the coronavirus. Test results are typically available the same day.

PCR TESTS

Detect genetic material that is specific to the virus. These tests require lab analysis that can take days. However, PCR tests are significantly more accurate than rapid tests. Only PCR testing is offered for free by Harris County Public Health.

COVID-19 PCR testing is available for free at numerous locations county-wide f rom Harris County Public Health. Testing is also available f rom many doctors, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. Testing is typically available by appointment only to reduce the risk of the disease spreading. Contact your healthcare provider for more information on testing.

WHAT TO DO AFTER GETTING TESTED.

While you wait for your test results, be certain to observe the following practices to reduce the risk of spreading the disease:

CONTINUE TO:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

STAY SMART

IF YOU TEST

POSITIVE

This means you are infected.

The most important thing you can do is stay home and quarantined except to get medical care. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better. Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and Harris County Public Health.

IF YOU TEST

NEGATIVE

This means you are NOT infected.

You probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. Continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.