If you feel sick or have COVID symptoms, get tested right away, even if you're vaccinated. If you test positive, most treatments for COVID must start within 5 days of feeling sick.
Select an entry below to view definition
Antigen self-tests, sometimes called a “rapid test” or “home test,” detect virus proteins in the body. Antigen self-tests use saliva and nasal swab samples. Results take 15-30 minutes.
Certain groups of people are considered high risk and are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19. People over 60, unvaccinated people, people with underlying health issues, and pregnant people may be at higher risk.
People who are at high risk should talk to their health provider right away if they test positive as treatment is most effective when started early.
Isolation means staying separate from all people who don’t have COVID-19, even within your home.
Molecular tests detect if COVID-19 genetic material is in the body. These tests are done on samples collected via a nasal swab (from the nose). These tests include PCR and TMA.
Quarantine means staying at home with no visitors, away from people outside your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. If possible, stay away from people in your household who are at high risk for COVID-19 (unvaccinated, older people, or those with medical conditions).
Testing that is repeated at different points in time is referred to as serial testing. Some self-tests are designed to be used in a series 24 to 48 hours apart. Serial testing may be more likely to detect infection among close contacts of a COVID-19 case than testing done at a single point in time.
- If you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested as early as possible regardless of vaccination status. Do not go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care center to be tested.
- If you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19 (within 6 feet of the person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) seek testing 5 days after exposure regardless of vaccination status. If symptoms develop, do not wait 5 days and get tested immediately, or consider retesting if you have already been tested. See the Isolation & Quarantine page for detailed guidance.
- If asked to by your school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, or local health department.
- After travel all travelers should get tested regardless of vaccination status if travel involved situations with greater risk of exposure such as being in crowded places while not wearing a well-fitting mask.
There are two main types of tests that can tell if you have COVID-19:
- Antigen (self-tests)
- Molecular (PCR or NAAT test)
- You can get antigen and PCR/NAAT tests through a healthcare provider, clinic, test site, or lab.
- You can also do an antigen test at home. These are called at-home, over-the-counter, or rapid self-tests. Antigen tests can be purchased at a pharmacy, retailer, or online. If you have health insurance, it will cover 8 home tests per person each month (contact your insurer directly).
Find a free or low-cost testing site, clinic or lab in King County. You will be asked to provide your ID and insurance card (if you have insurance), but it is not required to be tested.
Or request free rapid test kits here:
If you are at high risk for being hospitalized for COVID, it is important to getting tested soon and treated early. Oral antiviral pills or other treatment options may lower the chances of your illness getting worse if taken within 5 days of symptoms. There is no cost for treatment regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Here are three ways to receive treatment:
- Speak to your healthcare provider first. Your provider can give you a prescription that can be filled at participating pharmacies or anywhere antivirals are available.
- Schedule a telehealth appointment through Department of Health. If you do not have a health care provider or cannot be seen within 48 hours, contact Washington State Department of Health at 1–800–525–0127, then press # or go to doh.wa.gov/Covid19Telehealth to schedule a free telehealth appointment, available in 240 languages. Patients without the ability to have a video visit can have a phone visit. If you have already been tested, you may bring your test result from an at-home (antigen) test or a testing site to your telehealth visit. The test should be taken in the treatment window within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.
- Visit a Test to Treat clinic to receive testing and treatment in one visit. To find a clinic, enter your zip code into the Test to Treat locator or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish and more than 150 other languages.
Test to Treat slide deck (PDF) available in the following languages:
If your test is positive:
- You most likely have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms
- You don’t have to confirm the result by going to a lab, clinic, or testing site
- You do not need another test to seek treatment
What to do:
- Isolate for 5 days. Continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days after leaving isolation.
- If you are at higher risk from the disease, ask your healthcare provider or visit a Test to Treat clinic (available in English, Spanish, and Chinese) to ask about early treatment options.
- Tell your close contacts and household members you have tested positive.
- Notify your employer or school. See more about support for workers.
- Report rapid test results to Washington State Department of Health using one of the following two options:
- Report online. Go to safercovid.org/mytest, select your state, then complete the online form with your test results.
- Report by phone. Call 1-800-525-0127 and press # (press #7 for Spanish, or speak the language you need when the call is connected).
- If you need food or other assistance while isolating or quarantining, visit Care Connect Washington or call or text the program hotline, 1-833-453-0336.
- Answer the call or text from contact tracing. Your phone will identify the caller as "WA Health."
COVID-19 testing sites by location in King County
See the list below for free or low cost COVID-19 testing is available throughout King County.
You will be asked to provide your ID and insurance card (if you have insurance), but it is not required to be tested.
These sites are not operated by King County and there may be a cost for their testing services. Please check their website for more information.
Select a city below to find a testing site near you.
Note: sites marked with an asterisk (*) provide free testing to those who are uninsured. Please confirm costs directly with testing site when visiting other locations.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law, Public Health – Seattle & King County does not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of an individual’s protected class, including but not limited to race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, and marital status. If you have a complaint and wish to file a grievance, or have a question about possible discrimination, please contact the King County Civil Rights Program at civil-rights.OCR@kingcounty.gov; 206-263-2446; TTY Relay 7-1-1; or 401 5th Ave, Suite 800, Seattle, WA 98104.
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