Testing

Testing

test strip with indicator strip

Testing is an important tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anyone can get tested for COVID-19, including visitors to Vermont. People with or without symptoms can be tested at most testing locations. Testing is free to all. Make an appointment for your test.

UPDATE: Health Department testing sites will close at the end of June. Vermonters are encouraged to pick up free take-home tests from these sites to keep at home and use if needed. Learn more.

Are you wondering about a test kit's expiration date? Manufacturers periodically extend expiration dates on tests. You can confirm your Intrivo on/go test’s expiration date.

find TESTING locations

When Should I Get Tested?

  • As soon as possible if you have symptoms of COVID-19 ─ even if the symptoms are mild, and even if you previously had COVID-19.
  • If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not vaccinated or not up to date on your vaccines. Learn more about when close contacts should get tested.

Report Your Results

If there is no option to automatically report your self-test result, please report results (positive or negative) to the Health Department using this online form, Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form

Test Types

There are two types of tests that can tell you if you are infected at the time of the test — Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) and antigen tests. A PCR test is needed if you are testing a child under age 2. Take-home LAMP and antigen tests are not approved for use in children under 2.

 

Nucleic Acid amplification test (NAAT)

antigen test
Examples Includes PCR and LAMP. Also known as molecular tests. Includes Quidel QuickVue and BinaxNOW.
How long for results Up to 3 days. Some are rapid (around 20 minutes). Most are rapid, around 15 minutes.
How the test works Detects genetic material (RNA) within the COVID-19 virus. Detects proteins (or antigens) on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.
Learn more about NAAT and antigen tests

NAAT – PCR/LAMP Tests 

PCR and LAMP tests are generally the most reliable tests. Most Health Department test sites offer PCR tests, which need to be analyzed at a lab. Results are ready within 3 business days. Most Health Department sites also offer take-home LAMP tests, which can provide results within an hour because the sample does not need to go to a lab for analysis.

Antigen Tests 

Antigen tests provide rapid results. Most Health Department sites offer take-home antigen tests. They can also be purchased at pharmacies or other stores and are easy to use. An antigen test can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Antigen tests look for proteins on the virus to tell if you are currently infected with COVID-19.

An antigen test can be used if you have symptoms or if you are a close contact, but be sure to take BOTH tests, at least 24 hours apart.

An antigen test should be used if you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, because the other test types may continue to be positive due to your previous infection.

Vermont has issued an emergency rule requiring health insurers to cover the retail purchase of most FDA-authorized COVID-19 antigen tests. Learn more about how to get reimbursed for these tests and changes anticipated once the rule is fully implemented.

test details

test test type Self- test? instructions
PCR NAAT No You will be instructed at clinic.
 
Lucira LAMP
 
NAAT Yes

Video on How to Use: ASL/English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese| Mandarin Chinese

Directions:  English |العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

The LAMP test comes with 2 AA batteries. Please repurpose (for example in a smoke detector) or recycle these batteries.

BINX NAAT Yes  
BinaxNOW Antigen Yes Video on How to Use: ASL/English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese| Mandarin Chinese

Directions: English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | Chinese - Simplified 中文 | Chinese - Traditional | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

Intrivo on/go Antigen Yes

Video on How to Use: English العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese| Mandarin Chinese

Directions: English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | Chinese - Simplified 中文 | Chinese - Traditional | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese

Find out about expiration date extension for this product.

Quidel QuickVue At-home Antigen Yes Video on How to Use: ASL | English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi| Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese| Mandarin Chinese

Quick reference instructions: English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi| नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese
 
iHealth Antigen Yes Video on How to Use: ASL | English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | नेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese| Mandarin Chinese

Find out about expiration date extension for this product.
 
FlowFlex Antigen Yes Video on How to Use: English | العربية /Arabic | မြန်မာစာ/Burmese | دری / Dari | Français/French | Kirundi | Maay Maay | Mandarin Chineseनेपाली/Nepali | پښتو/Pashto | Soomaali | Español /Spanish | Swahili | Tiếng Việt/Vietnamese | American Sign Language| Mandarin Chinese

Find tips and learn more from the CDC about self-testing

Health Department Testing

Frequently asked questions about Health Department testing

Who can get tested?
Anyone can get tested at a Health Department testing site. This includes people of all ages who work in Vermont, are visitors to Vermont or are international travelers. Anyone under 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian or bring a signed parental consent form.

Do I need to make an appointment?
Making an appointment will help guarantee you a test, but you can walk in to a clinic to pick up a take-home test or be tested on site. Find a testing location.

What kind of test is it?
The Health Department offers PCR, antigen and LAMP tests. These tests will tell you if you have a current infection. They are not serology/antibody tests, which means they will not tell you if you were infected in the past. 

I need to have documentation of my test result; what type should I get?
In order to get documentation of a medically observed test, you will need a PCR test. The results and documentation will be available within three business days. 

Can I get a take-home test kit if I walk in to a testing site?
Yes, if the site offers antigen and LAMP tests you can walk in and choose one of those.

If my family has appointments for take-home test kits, can one person pick them up?
Yes. One family member can go pick up the test kits for other family members who have appointments. The person who picks them up does not need to have an appointment. For example, if three family members have appointments, one family member can go pick up the test kits for everyone who is registered.

Can I pick up my test at a different time than my appointment is scheduled for?
Please come as close to your appointment time as possible, since this helps the site manage the numbers of people and provide people’s appointments on time. If you need to come at a different time, you can still pick up your test.

If I am vaccinated, will I test positive for COVID-19?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available will cause you to test positive on a PCR, LAMP or antigen test.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No. You do not need a referral from a doctor to be tested at a Health Department testing site.

Do I need insurance?
No. You may be asked to provide health insurance information when you make an appointment or when you go to the site, but you do not have to have health insurance in order to get tested.

Is the test free?
Yes. It is free to get tested at a Health Department testing site.

What is the test like? How is a sample collected?
PCR tests are self-administered at the test site, which means that you use a short, dry swab to collect a sample from just inside your nose. Antigen and LAMP tests are done a home. Follow instructions that come with the kit.

Do I get out of my car for the testing? 
Some sites allow you to drive through, but most will require you to get out of your car to enter the space where the specimen will be collected. You will get instructions to follow when you arrive at the site. You may have to wait outside, so dress for the weather.

Do I need to bring identification with me?
We don’t require identification. We will ask you to verify your contact information.

Will I be screened for symptoms?
Yes. You will be asked if you have any current symptoms of COVID-19 at the testing site. You will still be able to get tested.

Can I get transportation to the test site?
Yes. Schedule your appointment, and then call 833-387-7200 at least two days before the appointment. 

Can I get an ASL interpreter to assist me at the testing site?
Yes. An ASL interpreter can be arranged at Health Department testing sites. Usually, the interpreter will work with you remotely, and you'll use a computer screen available at the test site. To request an interpreter, ask one of the public health workers at the test site.

Can I get an interpreter for a foreign language to assist me at the testing site?
Yes. An interpreter can be arranged at Health Department testing sites. Usually, the interpreter will work with you remotely by phone. To request an interpreter, ask one of the public health workers at the test site. There are some testing sites where foreign language interpreters are available onsite.

When and how will I get my results?
Find out about getting your test results.

Can I be tested at a Health Department testing site more than once?
Yes. You may come to a Health Department testing site to get tested more than once.

How can I change or cancel my appointment?
The confirmation email that was sent to you has information about how to cancel or change your appointment. You can also call 802-863-7240 (select option 9, then select option 3) if you need help.

Getting your test results

Test results are typically available within 3 business days. Business days are Monday through Friday. Holidays are not business days. If you were tested on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, your results may not be posted until the following week. How you receive results depends on where you were tested.

If you were tested at a Health Department testing site and:

  • If you requested an electronic result, you can expect an email within 3 business days, when your result is ready. You can then log in to your COVID-19 testing account to get the result. You will not receive a letter.
  • If you requested a letter, you can expect to receive it within 7 business days. If you also provided an email address, you can expect an email within 3 business days, when your result is ready. You can then log in to your COVID-19 testing account to get the result.
  • If you do not have a COVID-19 testing account (you got tested as a walk-in) a patient ID was created for you and sent to the email you provided.  You will need to use the link in the email to confirm your patient ID. Once you confirm the patient ID, you can log in to your COVID-19 testing account and view your test results once they are available, which will be within 3 business days.

We cannot guarantee that you will receive your results in less than 3 business days. We also cannot accommodate special requests for receiving test results or rushed results.

If you receive a test result that is “inconclusive” or “indeterminate,” the Health Department encourages you to get retested. You are also encouraged to stay home away from others while you’re waiting for your result. "Pending" means your test results are not yet ready.

If you are having problems accessing your test results, call 802-863-7240, select option 9, then select option 3.

If you got tested anywhere else, the Health Department cannot provide your results. Please contact your health care provider, if they ordered the test or the facility that conducted the test.

If You have a Positive Result

If you test positive for COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated or don’t have any symptoms, isolate as soon as you receive your test result and then notify your close contacts. If you miss a call from the Health Department, call us back at 802-863-7240.

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available will cause you to test positive on a PCR or antigen test.

Learn more about what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.

Tests for people who are homebound

Homebound means you are not able to leave your home for scheduled medical care or non-medical appointments.

If you are homebound, you can get a PCR COVID-19 test in your home. Call 802-863-7240 (toll-free 833-722-0860), Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results

If you are being tested because you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and away from other people and wear a mask if you must be near others.

Learn about how to isolate and notify your close contacts if you test positive

Testing information for health care professionals
View data about testing in Vermont

Serology/Antibody Test (not for a current infection)

Serologic, or antibody, tests identify people who have previously been infected with the COVID-19 virus and do not show whether a person is currently infected. 

If someone was infected with COVID-19, there will be antibodies in their blood whether the person ever felt sick or not. The testing measures the body’s immune response to the virus. It does not detect the virus itself. The COVID-19 vaccines could cause you to test positive on some antibody tests. This is because your body develops an immune response when you get vaccinated. 
 
With any test, there is always a risk of incorrect test results – false-positive and false-negative results. We need a good and accurate test we can rely on. The Vermont Department of Health convened a working group of experts to research antibody tests. Their findings conclude that at this time, the serologic (antibody) tests that are currently available would not produce results that are accurate or reliable enough for Vermont. The working group will continue to meet regularly and will be watching closely for changes and improvements in serologic testing. Recommendations may change based on new data. 

Though certain providers may offer antibody testing in Vermont, the working group cautions against using serologic testing to make decisions about individuals. For example, the test should not be used to establish “proof of immunity.” However, this type of test could help us better understand the population-level rate of infection from COVID-19 in Vermont. 

The CDC is working with commercial laboratories to estimate the percentage of people who were infected with the COVID-19 virus. The strategy involves working with state, local, territorial, academic and commercial partners to better understand COVID-19 in the United States using serology testing for surveillance. 

Learn more from the Food and Drug Administration about COVID-19 tests
 

Federal Free At-home COVID Test Program

Every home in the United States can order a third round of 8 free COVID-19 at-home tests (4 packages of 2 each).
The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. For technical support call 1-800-344-7779.

Order COVID TesT kits

Frequently Asked Questions about the federal program

In This Section

 

Learn about when to get tested, and where to go for testing.