COVID-19 Testing

Due to high demand and staffing shortages, COVID-19 tests are by appointment only.

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 in Hillsborough (tests all ages) and Optum in Chapel Hill (does not test babies under the age of 1).  We do not require a doctors note/referral, and we will test everyone with or without symptoms. We have interpreters on site and capacity to do virtual interpretation. 

On Friday, January 21st the following clinics will have a delayed opening at 10 a.m.:

- OCHD Medical Clinic at the Whitted Human Services Center in Hillsborough 

- COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic in Chapel Hill 

- COVID-19 Testing Clinic in Chapel Hill

On Saturday, January 22nd the following clinics will be closed: 

- COVID-19 Testing Clinic in  Chapel Hill 

See graphic below for additional closures



Please note that the two testing sites are run by different vendors. Please attend the clinic that you have registered with. Tests are by appointment only!

Testing in Hillsborough:

  • Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm

Drive thru testing is by registration only and takes place in the parking lot in front of the Dept. of Social Services (DSS) at 113 Mayo St., Hillsborough. 

Registration will be open:

  • Weekdays from approximately 8:30 am to 11 am
  • Sundays from approximately 9 am to 10 am
  • These times may vary.
  • After you register for the day, please arrive between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm for your appointment.
  • Registration may be done online. Select Orange County when registering: or by calling (919) 913-8088. The call center is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Due to high testing volumes, the wait time for PCR test results may be longer than 72 hours.

Starmed is doing PCR tests and a rapid test may be requested on site.


Testing in Chapel Hill:

  • Monday through Friday from 7 am to 3pm
  • Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm 
  • At Southern Human Services Center (SHSC) at 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Testing will take place in the large conference room. It may be accessed via a side entrance, not the main entrance.
  • Registration may be done online: You may also call 877-562-4850 to register. For test results call 877-562-4828.

Optum offers both PCR and rapid tests.   

There will be a few exceptions due to holidays, weather conditions, or other events.

COVID TESTING web chapel hill


OCHD clinic schedule-2

Weekly Clinic Calendar as a printable PDF.


Gravelly Hill Middle School4801 West Ten Road
Efland, NC 27243
New Date:

Saturday, February 5th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Flyer: English/Spanish

PCR only. Ages 1 & up. 
By appointment only. Register here:

A.L. Stanback Middle School3700 NC-86 
Hillsborough, NC 27278
New Date:

Saturday, February 5th  from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Flyer: English/Spanish

PCR only. Ages 1 & up. 
By appointment only. Register here:

COVID-19 Home Test Collection Kit Program

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has launched a pilot program to provide no-cost, at-home COVID-19 collection kits for North Carolinians who may face difficulties traveling to testing sites. People 18 and older can request a test and parents and guardians can request a test collection kit for those aged 2-17.

Learn more and request a collection kit at THIS LINK

Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 8.44.55 AM Opens in new window

How do I know if I should get tested? This short video informs viewers about asymptomatic spread.

Other Testing Locations in Orange County

Click the image below for a full document of available testing locations.  
Coronavirus-Testing-Chart-PDF_Page_1 Opens in new window

Coronavirus-Testing-Chart-PDF_Page_2 Opens in new windowDISCLAIMER: This Information changes often and quickly. For up to date info, please visit:
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

NCDHHS Community Testing Events

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.

This includes: 

  • 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.

More info:

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 
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Feeling unusually weak or fatigued
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • 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? What if my test is positive?

Consult the CDC for the latest quarantine and isolation guidance:

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for those who have tested positive for COVID-19

If you have had symptoms for 10 days or less treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies are available. Ask your doctor about treatment or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish). You may also visit UNC Healthcare and Duke Health System for the treatment. 


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:

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:symptoms

  • 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

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 Tracing - EnglishContact 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

See sample scenario from NC DHHS provides a full picture of the contact tracing process from testing onward.  Available in English and Spanish.


Image in Spanish/ Imagen en español