COVID-19 testing hosted by the Orange County Health Department is done with no out of pocket cost (insurance will be billed). For those without insurance the tests are also available and are free. Testing is conducted by two different vendors, StarMed Healthcare and Optum. We do not require a doctors note/referral, and we will test everyone with or without symptoms. People of all ages can be tested. We have interpreters on site and capacity to do virtual interpretation.
***Testing events may be cancelled during inclement weather***
Weekday Testing Hillsborough:
COVID-19 testing is available every weekday Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm at Whitted Human Services Center at 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough NC 27278. Pre-registration is encouraged and may be done online. Select Orange County when registering: https://unityphm.com/campaigns/starmed
There will be a few exceptions due to holidays, weather conditions, or other events.
Weekday Testing Chapel Hill:
COVID-19 testing is available every weekday Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm at Southern Human Services Center (SHSC) at 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Testing will take place in the large conference room inside the front entrance.
Pre-registration is encouraged and may be done online: https://lhi.care/covidtesting.
There will be a few exceptions due to holidays, weather conditions, or other events.
Other Testing Locations in Orange County
DISCLAIMER: This Information changes often and quickly. For up to date info, please visit:https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place
or contact your preferred site directly!
NC DHHS Testing
Information from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services including a way to check your symptoms, up to date information an testing locations throughout the State, and Frequently Asked Questions about testing.
Community Testing Events in North Carolina
Who Should Get Tested?
North Carolina is focused on rapidly increasing testing of people who may not currently have symptoms, but may have been exposed to COVID-19. NCDHHS released updated guidance for doctors and clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19.
- Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
- Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
- Groups of some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
- People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
- People from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This fact sheet provides best practices for community testing in historically marginalized populations.
- Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.)
- Health care workers or first responders.
- People who are at higher risk of severe illness.
- People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others.
Most people who get COVID-19 recover without needing medical care. If you are experiencing severe, life threating symptoms (for example, severe difficulty breathing, altered thinking, blue lips), seek immediate medical care or call 9-1-1.
Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests. A viral test tells someone if they currently have COVID-19. It is also called a diagnostic test. An antibody test tells someone if they had the virus before.
What to Do After Testing?
There are a number of reasons why you may be tested for COVID-19. It may be because you have COVID-19 symptoms, were a close contact of someone with COVID-19, are in a job or a population that may be at higher risk for exposure and suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19; or are in a job or a population for which routine or repeat testing is recommended or required. The information below will help you to determine what you should do while you are waiting for your test results, and what to do after your test results are available.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever, chills, or repeated shaking/shivering
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- Feeling unusually weak or fatigued
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle pain
- Runny or congested nose
- Diarrhea (loose stools 3 or more times a day)
What do I do while I wait for my test results?
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, were tested because you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household. In addition, if you were tested because you have COVID-19 symptoms, everyone in your household should stay at home as much as possible until your results are known.
If you were tested for COVID-19 but have no symptoms and no known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID- 19 (for example, as part of a workplace screening program), you do not need to stay home while waiting for your results unless you are told to do so by your employer or by a public health official.
What if my test is negative?
If you were tested because you have symptoms, you should stay home until you have no fever without the use of fever- reducing medicines, and you have felt well for at least 24 hours.
If you were tested because you have symptoms and a healthcare provider still thinks you have COVID-19, even with a negative test, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household until you can say yes to ALL three of the following questions:
- Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms?
- Has it been at least 24 hours (1 day) since you have had a fever without using fever-reducing medicine?
- Have your other symptoms improved (such as coughing and shortness of breath)?
*A test-based strategy is no longer recommended to discontinue isolation or precautions and employers should not require documentation of a negative test before allowing a worker to return.
If you were tested because of a known contact to someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and quarantine (avoid anyone in your household) until 14 days after the last time you were in contact with the person who tested positive. Having a negative test during that period is a good thing, but there is still a chance that it may take up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19 for the virus to present itself and infect someone. That’s why it is important that you monitor your symptoms closely. If you develop any of the above symptoms*, then you may have COVID-19. Check with your medical provider, the COVID-19 Community Team, or get tested again.
If you were tested for another reason that is not because of a known or suspected contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms, then you can resume your regular activities.
Everyone should continue to practice the 3 Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) whenever they leave home. Wearing a cloth covering over your mouth and nose if you will be with other people, waiting 6 feet apart from others, and washing your hands often can help protect you and your loved ones from the spread of this virus.
What if my test is positive?
Following CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you did not have symptoms, you should stay home and isolate (avoid anyone in your household) until 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming you did not develop symptoms since your positive test.
To protect your family and friends and slow the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 Community Team member will also ask you who you have recently been near – for example, people living in your household or people who have been within 6 feet of you for more than 15 minutes. The COVID-19 Community Team will reach out to anyone who has been near you to share information and support, as well as help them get tested. They should stay home and quarantine until 14 days after the last time they were in contact with you while you were able to spread the infection. The team will not share your name or personal information. This information is confidential and will remain private. However, if you are comfortable, please share this information with everyone in your household and any of your close contacts. If the COVID-19 Community Team does not get in contact with you, please call your local health department.
Information that applies to anyone who is advised to stay home because of COVID-19
- Stay home except to seek medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
- Do not use public transportation, ride shares, or taxis.
- Separate yourself from others in your home, especially people who are at higher risk of serious illness.
- Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Do not prepare or serve food to others.
- Do not allow visitors into your home.
Prevent the Spread:
- Wear a cloth face covering or mask over your nose and mouth if you are in a room with others. If you are unable to wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth or mask, others should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth or mask if they share or enter the room.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sneeze into your sleeve -- not into your hands -- then throw away the tissue into a lined trashcan and immediately wash hands.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds -- especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, or after going to the bathroom. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum content of 60% alcohol can be used instead of soap and water if your hands are not visibly dirty.
- Do not share household items such as dishes, cups, utensils, towels, bedding with other people. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Laundry may be washed in a standard washing machine with warm water and detergent; bleach may be added but is not necessary.
- Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces daily (including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, faucets, toilets, phones, tv remotes, keys, keyboards), and especially any surfaces that may have body fluids on them. Use household cleaning and disinfectant sprays or wipes, according to the product label instructions. More info: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html
Practice Home Care:
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to reduce fever and pain.
Do not give children younger than age 2 years any medications without first checking with a doctor. Note that medicines do not “cure” COVID-19 and do not stop you from spreading the virus.
- Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse, especially if you are at a higher risk of serious illness. • Symptoms that indicate you should seek medical care include:
- If possible, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or hospital to tell them you are isolating for COVID- 19. This will help the health care personnel prepare for your arrival and protect others from getting infected.
- Do not wait in any waiting rooms and do wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth or mask at all times if possible.
- Do not use public transportation.
- If you call 911, first notify the dispatch and paramedics that you are under isolation for COVID-19.
Contact tracing is the identification and monitoring of all persons who might have been exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are COVID-19 positive or if you are contacted about having been exposed, you are not in trouble. Contract Tracers want to help by providing guidance to keep you and everyone around you healthy.
Contact Tracers Will:
- Tell you about your risk
- Tell you how to monitor your symptoms
- Help connect you to resources and support you may need
- Keep your information confidential
- Ask for your date of birth
Contact Tracers Will Not:
- Ask for your social security number
- Ask for your bank information