Many people are interested in testing for COVID-19 out of concern for themselves and their loved ones. If you have trouble breathing or feel very ill, contact your health care provider or, in case of emergency, call 911.
Who should be tested?
If you have symptoms and think you might have COVID-19, you can ask your health care provider to be tested. Knowing you have COVID-19 is important so you can take care of yourself and prevent the spread of the virus. Symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Loss of sense of smell or taste
Runny nose or congestion
Your health care provider may decide to have you tested for other illnesses, like the flu, based on your symptoms and possible exposure history.
OHA recommends that people in the following groups be tested regardless of whether they have symptoms:
- Close contacts of confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 cases. The optimal time for testing of asymptomatic contacts is unknown, but 3–14 days after exposure is recommended based on data on testing sensitivity, which indicate that likelihood of a positive test in an infected person remains close to zero until day 3–4 after exposure. Note that a negative test does not change the need for 14 days of quarantine for all contacts.
- People exposed to COVID-19 in a congregate setting (e.g., residential care facilities, childcare facilities, group homes, schools, agricultural workplaces, food processing plants, jails or prisons, shelters)
- Migrant/seasonal agricultural workers upon arrival in Oregon
OHA recommends that testing of people without symptoms consistent with COVID-19 be limited to the following groups:
- People who identify as Black, African-American, Latino, Latina, Latinx, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Islander
- People who identify as having a disability
- People whose first language is not English
Patients and providers should be aware that COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals may not be covered by insurance (e.g., when there is no known contact or exposure to COVID-19).
If you’re not feeling well, consider using the Coronavirus Checker. This tool allows people to check their symptoms, and if warranted, directs them to the appropriate hospital or clinic. It is available by mobile device in 15 languages.
Get information on Coronavirus testing near you: OHA COVID-19 Test Site Finder
If you don’t have a health care provider, call 211 for a list of clinics near you. They can help you even if you don't have insurance. If necessary, visit your local urgent care center.
You can also call the Clackamas County Health Centers at 503-655-8471 to enroll as a new patient. If you don’t have insurance, they can provide assistance with Oregon Health Plan enrollment.75771
Your health care provider will give you information about how to keep from spreading the virus to your family, friends and co-workers and Public Health will call to find out how the coronavirus may have spread. You will need to isolate yourself from other people for as long as they instruct. You will also need to avoid coughing on others and to wash your hands frequently to protect them from infection. When you speak to Public Health, be open and honest with them to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Even if you don’t have symptoms:
- Stay home until:
- You have no fever for 3 days;
- Your symptoms improve; AND
- At least 10 days have passed since your first symptoms (or your test if you are symptom-free).
- Have other members in your household stay home for 14 days after you are released from isolation.
Talk to Public Health
You’ll get a call from a public health worker who will give you information about what your test results mean and how to protect yourself and those around you until you are not contagious. They can also help you figure out what kind of support you need to isolate yourself and can connect you to organizations that can help with other resources and services you may need, such as groceries, financial support, help with rent or other essential items.
Here is what to expect when you hear from Public Health:
To protect your privacy, they will ask you to confirm your name and birthdate.
They will ask you about the people you have been in close contact with recently.
They will never ask you to provide other personal information (Social Security number, documentation status or financial information).75771
It varies depending on which laboratory was used, ask your health care provider. Isolate yourself during this time to limit the possible spread of the virus.75771
If you think you’ve been exposed, stay home and quarantine regardless of if you are symptomatic or not. If you get sick, we encourage testing.75771
We do not support requiring proof of negative COVID-19 test results as a condition of reopening or returning to work, especially in light of limited testing capacity at this time.
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, local public health officials will work directly with them on a time-based approach to determine when they may safely return to work after illness. Therefore, a COVID-19 test to return to work is duplicative and not necessary.
However, we may recommend return to work testing for employees of long-term care facilities.75771