Testing for COVID-19 is available through the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) and a growing number of commercial labs. In addition, we expect hospitals around the state to begin conducting their own testing soon. As more testing is done, we expect to find more cases in the community.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 began, OHA has relied on CDC guidance regarding whom to test for the virus. At this time, CDC advises that individuals who may be tested include, among others, those who have fever, cough and difficulty breathing and who have:
- traveled to certain affected regions outside the US,
- had close contact with someone diagnosed as having COVID-19, or
- been hospitalized, had evidence of viral pneumonia and a negative influenza test.
The OSPHL has enough tests for community members who meet the established criteria for testing. In addition to the OSPHL, commercial lab testing is becoming more widely available. Community members who don’t meet the established criteria (and therefore don’t require public health authorization or approval for COVID-19 testing), can call their healthcare provider for evaluation and consideration of testing through commercial labs (at their provider’s discretion). OSPHL will continue to prioritize testing for at-risk patients using the above epidemiologic and clinical criteria.
If it is determined that you need testing, your health care coverage may cover the cost of COVID-19 testing at an in-network provider, in-network urgent care center or emergency room. In addition, many insurance companies have agreed to waive co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles for their customers who need COVID-19 testing. More information is available through the Department of Consumer and Business Services.
Testing typically involves a nose swab, throat swab and collection of a spit sample with mucus. The timeline for receiving test results varies.