Coronavirus COVID-19: Testing Information

Chester County Health Department supports testing as a key strategy in the mitigation of COVID-19. The need for testing changes as the pandemic changes. Fortunately, in Chester County there is more than one way to access testing.

Currently, the Health Department is not operating testing sites.

Testing Questions

Who should get tested?

The Health Department recommends getting tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (wait until 5-7 days after exposure to ensure test accuracy) OR
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19:


Muscle or body achesHeadache

Sore throatCongestion or runny nose

FatigueNausea or vomiting

New or persistent coughDiarrhea

New loss of taste or smellShortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested after exposure to someone with COVID-19. The test should be performed 3-5 days after exposure.
  • Vaccination is not 100% effective.
    • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should be tested right away.
    • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
    • After vaccination, follow guidance for wearing a mask, especially while indoors and avoid crowds.
  • For more information, see the CDC’s COVID-19 testing overview.                              
Should I quarantine or isolate?
Where can I get tested?
How much does a test cost?
  • The cost of a test depends on your independent insurance. The CDC Testing Insurance Coverage page provides additional cost expectations.
  • Insurance is not required
  • Specific testing sites offer tests free of charge. Visits the clinic's website or call the site directly for more information
What do I do as I wait for my results?
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others
  • Monitor for symptoms — if you feel short of breath or have a worsening cough or persistent fever (a temperature of 100.4 or greater), call your doctor or go to a hospital emergency department.
  • If you must be near other people, wear a mask over your nose and mouth.
What do I do if I test positive?
  • Identify and inform your close contacts
    • Individuals who were within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more are considered close contacts.
  • If you have had symptoms of COVID-19, you may stop isolating 10 days have passed since your symptoms started AND you have had no fever without fever-lowering medicine for at least 24 hours AND other symptoms (like cough and shortness of breathing) are improving.
  • If you have NOT had symptoms of COVID-19, you may stop isolating 10 days after your positive test was collected.
What do I do if I test negative?
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
    • You may have received a false-negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others.
    • Contact your healthcare provider about your symptoms, especially if they worsen, about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate.
  • If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were exposed to a person with COVID-19:
    • You are likely not infected, but you still may get sick.
    • Self-quarantine at home for 14 days after your exposure.
      • Persons who are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine do not need to self-quarantine at home
    • If symptoms develop during home quarantine:
      • Contact your healthcare provider about follow-up testing; and
      • Isolate at home separated away from others.
  • If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19:
    • You do not need to self-quarantine.
  • Organization quarantine requirements may differ. Review your employer and or childcare quarantine guidelines.
  • Continue to refer to the CDC Quarantine Guidelines.