FAQ: Getting Tested for COVID-19

BUFFALO, MN – As the days and weeks have passed, many things have changed in our day to day lives. The guidance and recommendations around COVID-19 can seem like a moving target. Wright County Public Health acknowledges that struggle and will continue to share the latest information to empower you and inform the decisions you make about your health.

Recently the availability of testing has increased. Here are a few important things to know about getting tested for COVID-19:

Where can I get tested?

The list of locations across Wright County and the state where people can go for testing changes often. Wright County Public Health updates testing locations on a weekly basis through the COVID-19 website or our Facebook page. Find testing locations online at the Minnesota COVID-19 site: mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp, but know that this is not always up-to-date. Call ahead before you go in for testing.

I have symptoms, can I get tested?

Yes. If you have symptoms, you can and should get tested. If you aren’t sure if your symptoms are COVID-19, use the online screening tool (mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/get-tested/index.jsp) or talk to a health care provider.

People who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19, unless recommended by your health care provider or public health workers.

I had symptoms, but testing was limited. Now can I get tested?

Due to a national shortage of testing supplies, in general, people who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. When antibody (serology) testing becomes available, information will be posted on the Governor’s COVID-19 page: mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/index.jsp

I’m not sick but I want peace of mind. Can I get tested?

In general, people who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19, unless recommended by your doctor or public health workers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to determine if you can get sick with COVID-19 more than once. At this time, it’s unknown if you can become re-infected with COVID-19 after you have recovered, or how long immunity might last. It’s important to continue social distancing and following local and state guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Is testing free?

Federal law requires health insurance plans to cover diagnostic and serological or antibody testing at no cost to patients. There may be charges associated with the visit to obtain the testing, but most health insurance companies in Minnesota have waived copays, coinsurance, and deductibles associated with these charges. Check with your insurance company for further details.

I don’t have health insurance. Can I get tested?

People who do not have health insurance can apply for Medical Assistance (MA) Coverage for COVID-19 testing through the MN Department of Human Services (DHS). The provider or clinic administering the COVID-19 test will provide and submit the application to DHS for processing. If you have questions, contact DHS (mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/) or your health care provider.

Resources to find low-cost health care or get health insurance (in multiple languages): www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/lowcost.html.

Recently the state mentioned that case numbers are doubling every ten days. That is important for everyone to consider, especially as more businesses open. This virus is spreading everywhere. It’s impacting local businesses and employees, long-term care facilities, and families. As of May 15, 2020, there has been 140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Wright County residents.

Taking precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones is just as important now as it was when the state found our first cases of COVID-19; stay home when you are sick, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, continue only going out for essential items, practice physical distancing, and consider wearing a face covering.

For the latest Wright County information about COVID-19, visit our website at www.co.wright.mn.us/945/Coronavirus-COVID-19 or follow us on Facebook @WrightCtyPublicHealth.

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