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Getting tested for COVID-19 in Arkansas: What you need to know

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath call ahead to your health care provider.

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the facts on where to get tested for COVID-19, and what the requirements are— if any.

Arkansas Department of Health's website has a map of the state with all of the testing locations marked. 

Click on this link and scroll down to view the map.

It's important to note that the health department asks that if you are experiencing any of the virus's symptoms, to call ahead to your health care provider.

If you or someone you live with is at a higher risk for serious illness (older adults or having been diagnosed with underlying chronic medical conditions) contacting your healthcare provider early when symptoms are mild is encouraged.

For a full list of COVID-19 testing locations in Arkansas, clicking here will bring you to a page where you can view the list as a PDF or excel document.

What if someone is healthy, but believes they may be asymptomatic?

If this is the case, they should look into receiving an antibody test. The difference between an antibody test and being tested for COVID-19 is that the antibody test will tell you if you have been exposed to the virus in the past, not if you currently have it.

“The antibody test, if there is a silver lining, is that it is more patient-friendly. It’s just a blood draw, nothing more invasive than that,” Dr. Kent Covert with Little Rock Family Practice Clinic said.

As far as pricing, it can vary. Typically they are around $50, but check with your doctor and insurance company first.

Click here to read more from the ADH on antibody testing.

If you are considering getting an antibody test anywhere in Arkansas, be sure to check with the Arkansas Department of Health to verify the lab test is FDA-approved.

A new, safer way to test:

Local health units across the state are offering new tests for people with and without COVID-19 symptoms.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) said this is different from the nasopharyngeal swab.

There’s no longer a requirement to take temperatures, contact is extremely limited, and staff will be six feet away from patients.

RELATED: Arkansas health units begin 'self-swab' testing for COVID-19

The cost of COVID-19 testing should also not be turning people away from getting one—even if you don't have health insurance.

"Any testing site should take them without any hesitation because that's a commitment that we have, that there's not a cost," Gov. Hutchinson said.

Anyone with any of the following symptoms should go get tested. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

RELATED: Arkansans could soon be tested for COVID-19 without showing symptoms, for free

RELATED: Gov. Hutchinson: Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested

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