Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
Who Can Be Tested?
The State of Ohio has given health care organizations guidance that allows them to order a test for anyone who wants a test, but some testing sites may have restrictions. Testing standards differ among medical providers and retail locations. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care or testing. You should get a test for COVID-19 if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19.
Many retail pharmacy locations, doctor’s offices, and community health centers will screen an individual before they order or perform a test. They may ask if you have symptoms or if you’re part of an at-risk population. It’s important to call ahead to ask about their screening procedures and standards, including minimum age for testing, insurance requirements, and physician’s order requirements.
What is the difference between a diagnostic (or PCR) test and antibody testing?
What it does: Doctors use this test to diagnose people who are currently sick with COVID-19.
How it works: This test uses a sample of mucus typically taken from a person’s nose or throat. The test may also work on saliva — that’s under investigation. It looks for the genetic material of the coronavirus. The test uses a technology called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.
What it does: Antibody tests identify people who have previously been infected with the coronavirus. They do not show whether a person is currently infected. This is primarily a good way to track the spread of the coronavirus through a population.
How it works: This is a blood test. It looks for antibodies to the coronavirus. Your body produces antibodies in response to an infectious agent such as a virus. These antibodies generally arise after four days to more than a week after infection, so they are not used to diagnose current disease.
Where Can I Be Tested?
If you or someone you know is experiencing the emergency warning signs* for COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately. Signs include:
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Severe difficulty/trouble breathing
- New confusion
- Bluish lips or face
- Inability to wake or stay away
- *This is not a list of all possible severe symptoms.
Click on each box below to learn where testing is available and any steps you need to follow to be tested.