Community COVID-19 Testing Information
COVID-19 testing is available for people who think that they may have COVID-19. The Buncombe Ready COVID-19 Self Checker can help you assess whether or not you need to be tested for COVID-19.
Community testing sites in Buncombe County will be back on line on August 9th and more information on how to make an appointment will be available soon.
If your primary care provider does not offer COVID-19 testing, they can refer you to an option that works for you.
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.
Where to get tested for COVID-19:
If you DO NOT HAVE a healthcare provider who offers testing for COVID-19 and you want to get tested, you have the following options:
Visit the NC Find My Testing Place website to find a clinic near you, or
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)
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 assess your need for testing if you think you might have COVID-19 or have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19, regardless of your symptoms. The Buncombe Ready COVID-19 Self Checker is one resource you can use. You may also contact your healthcare provider or you can also click here to find a testing location near you.
As a reminder, prevention, not testing, should be the primary focus of everyone. Limit activities outside your household and follow the 3 W’s – wear a mask, wait 6 feet away from others, and wash your hands. These practices will help us all get back to school, work, and will keep more people healthy and safe in Buncombe County.
More information will be provided on Community Testing Sites on Thursday, August 6th.