COVID-19 Testing

​Marylanders experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested, even if they have been vaccinated or recently contracted the virus. Contact your healthcare provider for help determining if you should get a test for COVID-19.

The CDC also recommends the following people get tested for COVID-19:

  • Those who are notified of a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
  • Those who are working in health care and congregant settings.
  • Those who will have contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19.
There are two types of tests commonly available: PCR-based tests are most often performed in a laboratory. They are typically the most reliable tests for people with or without symptoms. These tests detect viral genetic material, which may stay in your body for up to 90 days after you test positive. Therefore, you should not use a PCR test if you have tested positive in the last 90 days. Antigen tests are rapid tests which produce results in 15-30 minutes. A single, negative antigen test result does not rule out infection. To best detect infection, a negative antigen test should be repeated at least 48 hours apart (known as serial testing). 

At-home rapid tests are antigen tests that can be bought at pharmacies and retail outlets, or you can contact your local health department to find out where to receive a free test kit in your area, while supplies last. At-home tests are antigen tests that can be taken anywhere without having to go to a specific testing site. Follow FDA and manufacturer’s instructions, including for the number of times you may need to test. 

For more information about testing, visit COVID-19 Testing: What you need to know.