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COVID-19 Updates, Testing and Vaccines

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COVID-19 Testing in Buncombe County


NOTE: The StarMed testing site at Harrah's Cherokee Center will be closed Tuesday, January 18, 2022 due to inclement weather.

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. 

As of Sept. 27 COVID-19 Testing is available through StarMed Healthcare Mon.-Fri., from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Harrah's Cherokee Center, 87 Haywood St. in Downtown Asheville. Click here for more information. Nasal swab PCR testing is covered 100% at no cost to you.

  • Results will be available on average in 3 days
  • Providers will contact patients via text message and email with results.

Text the word "COVID" to 704-850-6996 to pre-register.


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.
  • Testing is available through StarMed Healthcare. To register for COVID-19 testing through StarMed, click here.

Testing Overview: 

CDC has updated isolation and quarantine recommendations for the public, and is revising the CDC website to reflect these changes. These recommendations do not apply to healthcare personnel and do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Testing is very important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Click here to learn more about testing and steps to take after getting a COVID-19 test. 

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. 

Symptoms Include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.