Where to Get Tested
Use the guide below to determine the best testing facility for your needs:
COVID-19 has a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Getting tested gives you the power to stop the spread to friends and loved ones. Care and testing is available through many providers in Alexandria, whether or not you have insurance. Talk to the facility directly about identification requirements and whether you qualify for free or reduced cost care.
Test results provide information about one point in time. You may also become exposed to the virus or develop COVID-19 after your test, therefore, a negative test result doesn’t mean you should stop wearing a mask or maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from those who don’t live in your household.
If AHD has directed you to quarantine for 14 days because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, AHD does not recommend ending quarantine early if you receive a negative test result.
If you have a known exposure to COVID-19:
- People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms develop, they should be re-tested at the onset of symptoms.
- People who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.
Free Testing Kiosks and Mobile Van Now Available
As part of efforts to expand access to testing options, the City and the Alexandria Health Department have launched free kiosk-based and mobile testing sites in partnership with the private testing company Curative.
A testing swab is self-administered under the supervision of a Curative worker. Visit curative.com or call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703.746.4988 for available appointments. Kiosk service is available in English and Spanish.
A Positive Test Result
A positive COVID-19 test doesn’t mean you have to isolate forever, but there are several steps you must take to improve your health and protect those around you.
The “What To Do If You Get Sick” worksheet outlines steps for how long to stay away from others and who to contact after receiving a positive test result (also available in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic and Farsi).
You will receive a call from AHD as part of their case investigation, to figure out who your close contacts are and to connect you with needed resources while you stay home. Read more about what happens when you get a call.
It is critical to monitor your symptoms after a positive test. While most people may have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can become severe regardless of age or underlying conditions. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; bluish lips or face; or inability to wake or stay awake.
Isolation is Not Forever
While isolating yourself from others after contracting COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread, it doesn’t last forever.
Determining when you can be around others depends on a number of factors, use the When You Can Be Around Others chart to help determine when it’s safe to leave your home and be around others (also available in Spanish, Amharic and Arabic).
A Negative Test Result
A negative test means you were not infected with COVID-19 at the time your specimen was collected. However, a negative test does not mean that you will not get sick.
It is possible that you were very early in your infection when your sample was collected and that you could test positive later. You could also be exposed later and then develop the illness.
If you were instructed to quarantine due to an exposure to COVID-19, you should not end your quarantine early because of a negative test.
For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.