With the rise of the delta variant in the U.S., you may find yourself wondering if you should get COVID tested.
In addition, some concerts, including Maroon 5 and Jason Isbell, are requiring a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to attend.
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If you think you may have been exposed to someone who has COVID, or if you have symptoms such as fever, cough, lost of taste or smell, and more, health officials recommend you get tested.
If you’re feeling sick, most COVID-19 testing sites are free. Indiana has over 600 test sites, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Here’s how to get tested for COVID-19 in Indiana:
Where can I get tested?
The coronavirus section of the Indiana Health Department’s website lists COVID-19 testing sites in every county. You can look for testing sites in your county here: https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2524.htm
The map shows both free community test sites as well as healthcare providers or retail sites, like pharmacies and doctor’s offices. You can also see which sites offer rapid antigen tests.
To find a free COVID-19 testing site near you, you can enter your zip code on this website: https://scheduling.coronavirus.in.gov/Home/LocationSelection.
You can make an appointment online or by calling the phone number of your selected testing site.
What do I need to bring to get COVID tested?
While many COVID-19 testing sites are free, some will recommend that you bring your insurance information.
You also may need to bring confirmation of the test appointment and proof of identity.
Do I need to get tested following exposure even if I’ve been vaccinated?
Yes, the latest advice from the CDC recommends that you should get tested three to five days after exposure, even if you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccines are highly effective at protecting people against hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19.
Ninety-seven percent of Indiana residents hospitalized with COVID-19 since June 1 were unvaccinated, Jeni O’Malley, deputy chief of staff & chief communications officer at the Indiana State Department of Health, said in an email.
Will my test results tell me if I have the delta variant?
No. Your COVID-19 test results will only tell you if you have tested positive or negative for the virus.
“Variants are identified through sequencing, which is a further analysis of select specimens. Only a sampling of COVID-19 tests are sent for sequencing,” O’Malley, said.
However, 83% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. were the delta variant as of late July, according to CNBC.
How can I get my test results?
Your test results will be available on Access Indiana, the state record access system.
You can access your COVID-19 patient portal here: https://eportal.isdh.in.gov/C19PatientResults/.
If you don’t have an account, you may have to enter your email address and phone number to create one.
The time you will have to wait to get your test results varies by location, O’Malley said. .
At CVS Pharmacy, for example, results are available in a day or two, though the times may vary if there is a surge in cases or a backlog in the laboratory.
For more information on how to interpret your results and what to do next, you can look at this guide from the Indiana State Department of Health: https://bit.ly/3CLa5IL.
“We continue to encourage Hoosiers to get tested if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID, to stay home if they are awaiting results of a COVID test, and to get vaccinated at one of the more than 1,000 vaccination sites around the state,” O’Malley said.
Where can I find out more information about COVID-19 in Indiana?
Call 877-826-0011 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily or go to coronavirus.in.gov.
Contact IndyStar Pulliam Fellow Claire Rafford at [email protected] or on Twitter @clairerafford.