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COVID-19 Testing General Information
Think you have been exposed to COVID?
Testing is widely available at urgent cares, federally qualified health centers, and through some primary care providers for those who need it however, it remains important to focus on the prevention of COVID first and foremost to keep the virus from spreading further into the community and to loved ones.
Find testing near you:
- If you DO NOT HAVE a healthcare provider who offers testing for COVID-19 and you need to get tested, there are several ways to find testing near you.
- Visit the Find My Testing Place website to find a clinic or pop up testing site near you.
- People in Buncombe County can access testing by completing the Buncombe County Self-Checker online. If you need testing, you can set up an appointment at one of the county’s open-air, drive-through sites. People can also call the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday to be pre-screened for testing at these sites. A Ready Team member will call you within 2 business days to schedule your appointment.
- You can call the Buncombe County nurse line at (828) 250-5300 to find out where you can get tested (Press OPTION #1 to speak with a nurse) from 8 am to 5:30 pm.
Testing is suggested for the following:
- Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
- Anyone (with or without symptoms) who is a close contact of a known positive case
- Anyone (with or without symptoms) in the following groups who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)
- Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)
- Historically marginalized populations
- Healthcare workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
- Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction workers, food processing plant workers, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain
- People who attended mass gatherings (protests, marches, rallies, funerals, parties, cookouts, etc.), particularly if they were in crowds or other situations where they couldn’t practice effective social distancing
Paying for COVID-19 Testing:
New laws require most health insurance plans to fully pay for COVID testing when there is a medical reason for the test (such as having symptoms or contact with someone with COVID). If you do not have insurance, some clinics may use a government program to pay for the cost of your test. Other clinics may offer charity care assistance or sliding scale options for payment. Check with your provider about these details.
COVID-19 testing and treatment will not affect immigration applications or public charge status.
Symptoms of COVID-19
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider or an urgent care OR use the Buncombe County COVID-19 Self Checker to assess your symptoms and get connected to testing.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.
This list does not include all symptoms. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
Please read: You must schedule an appointment for community test sites.
Buncombe County offers drive-thru COVID-19 community testing at specified locations throughout the county. Community testing provides an easy and efficient way for those who live, work, or attend school in Buncombe County to get tested for COVID-19.
Testing at the fixed sites is available by appointment only. Here are the steps to sign up for community testing at one of the Buncombe County community testing sites:
Step 1: Complete the Buncombe County COVID-19 Self-Checker. The self-checker will tell you whether or not you need to be tested. You can access the self-checker here. You can also call the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095 and they will help you to complete the self-checker.
Step 2: If your self-checker results indicate that you need to be tested and you do not have a primary care provider who is providing COVID-19 testing or you cannot get tested at an urgent care, you will need to register for the testing site. You can register online or by calling the Ready Team. You must complete the registration form and wait for a call back (next step).
Step 3: Once you have completed the registration, the Ready Team will call you within 2 business days to schedule your appointment. They will call from this number: (828) 419-0095. Do not show up at the testing site without an appointment.
Step 4: Show up at the testing site at your scheduled date and time.
Step 5: Wait for your testing results or access them online. Your test result will be available within 48 hours. While you are waiting for your test result, you should act as if you have COVID and reduce or eliminate your contact with others until your test results return.
- While waiting for your test result, please follow the instructions in the “Steps for People After COVID-19 Testing” handout that you received at the testing site and attached below. This handout also tells you what to do once you get your test result.
- A Buncombe County employee will call you with your test result.
- You can register with our lab partner, Genova Diagnostics, to check on your results online. Please do not call Genova for your results.
To get your results from the lab partner, Genova Diagnostics*:
- Register for the Genova Diagnostics myGDX Patient Resource Center at https://www.gdx.net/prc.
- To access your result, you will be asked to enter the last 5 digits of your social security number to verify your identity. If you do not have a social security number, enter any 5 numbers and you will be able to get your result by providing different identifying information.
* You may see a note on Genova’s website about a 10 day delay in releasing results to patients, but this does not apply to COVID testing through our sites.
Testing site locations in Buncombe County are at the Buncombe County Sports Park on Thursdays and on Sundays at the AB Tech Allied Health Building. Please pre-register for testing at these locations by completing the Self-Checker or by calling the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095. Please check the calendar below for testing site times and dates.
Important: Please check Buncombe County's Facebook page for site cancellations due to weather.