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A look at the COVID-19 testing process

The test for COVID-19 is now available to everyone through Columbus Public Health.

It’s the test that doesn’t give you a pass/fail but results are detected or not detected.  

The test for COVID-19 is now available to everyone through Columbus Public Health.

The health department is offering free, drive-through  COVID-19 testing in collaboration with OhioHealth, Mt. Carmel and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  

Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said interest in testing has grown now that is more accessible.

“I worry though are these people getting tested because they're symptomatic?” she said, “or is that a sign of the rising number of cases of the virus we're seeing in our community.”

Testing is provided Monday through Friday at Columbus Public Health (240 Parsons Ave.) and nine other sites in the city.  

Scientists and medical experts agree that testing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helps saves lives.  

Tests are given by either nasal or oral swab by trained technicians and registered nurses. Results are ready in 24 to 48 hours.  

COVID-19 testing is reportable to the health department in which you live, and they can also be delivered to your primary care physician.  

If you test positive for COVID-19, a public health employee will call you and ask questions about where you have been and who you have been in close contact with. 

This is called contact tracing, and the information gathered is only used to contact potential cases so they can be quarantined to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While a doctor’s referral isn’t necessary for testing through the Columbus Public Health Department, but registration and appointments are recommended. It is important to note that testing done at area hospitals does still require a medical provider’s referral.