Where to go for testing if you think you have the coronavirus may be challenging. NBC News reached out to all 50 state health departments for information about testing. Below is the following protocol for testing in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
- Call your doctor or local health department to discuss whether you should be evaluated in person and considered for testing. Patients who don’t have a primary care doctor can call a federally qualified health center or emergency department.
- Providers will refer to the CDC criteria to decide if you need testing or not
- The New Jersey’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratory tests the sample and results are generally available within 24 to 48 hours.
- Patients who don’t meet priority criteria can discuss testing at commercial labs with their provider.
- For more coronavirus information, visit the New Jersey Department of Health’s website.
- If you think you may have coronavirus, call the state hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). A public health professional will speak with you and determine if and where you should go for testing, such as the hospital or doctor’s office, and can then coordinate arrival at the healthcare facility to ensure you, the healthcare workers, and other visitors to the facility are all properly protected to prevent further exposures.
- The state typically only tests people who are symptomatic. However, if you are not symptomatic, decisions are made on a case by case basis.
- Pennsylvania has both public and private labs that can conduct tests. The state public lab requires approval by the health department for testing.
- Results from the state lab can be available in less than a day, testing takes on average four to six hours.
- For more coronavirus information, call 1-877-724-3258 or visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website.
- If you believe you need to be tested call your health care provider. If you do not have a primary care doctor, call the Delaware Division of Public Health’s call center (866) 408-1899.
- The state is only recommending testing for people with symptoms.
- If tested a sample will be collected and sent to the state’s public or private lab. Approval from the Division of Public Health is required for testing at the state public health lab, but not for commercial lab testing.
- Results from the Division of Public Health’s laboratory are typically available within 24 hours. Commercial lab results times may vary.
- For more coronavirus information, visit the Delaware Division of Public Health’s website; call the Delaware information line by dialing 1-866-408-1899; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. TTY users should dial 1-800-232-5460.