Free at-home COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution Event
Be safe this holiday season! Franklin County Public Health in partnership with local fire departments is hosting a drive thru Test the Season event. Pick up your free BinaxNow Rapid At-Home Test-Kits at the locations listed below.
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Nausea or vomiting
If you or someone you know is experiencing the emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately. Some signs include persistent pain or pressure in the chest, severe difficulty/trouble breathing, confusion, bluish lips or face, inability to wake or stay awake.
Where Can I Be Tested?
Franklin County Public Health has partnered with Columbus Public Health and The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center to help link you to COVID-19 testing. For assistance, call 614-645-1519 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested to check for infection:
- Fully vaccinated people should be tested 5 days after their last exposure.
- People who are not fully vaccinated should get tested immediately when they find out they are a close contact. If their test result is negative, they should get tested again 5 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who are prioritized for expanded community screening for COVID-19.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, tribal, local or territorial health department.
- How can I report my at-home test results? Franklin County residents can do that through our Self Report Form.
Who does not need to be tested?
The following people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to get tested if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms:
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, as long as they do not develop new symptoms, do not need to get tested.
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.