Nova Pathfinder does NOT cover the cost of COVID tests. These tests are free because they are covered by the Federal Government’s Emergency fund.
If you are experiencing symptoms and want to get tested, you may obtain a free COVID test at a testing location near you. Check your local city website for information on testing sites by searching “Free COVID tests near me” in any search engine.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
*The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Dry cough
Less common symptoms:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell, a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech of movement
What if I’m not experiencing symptoms but still want to get a test?
If you are asymptomatic, there are many reasons you might want to undergo testing. For example, if you have been in contact with someone who has been exposed or tested positive, or if you plan to travel, you should be tested.
Please Note: If you are traveling or need a rapid test, there may be a fee associated with this test. However, we do not cover these tests as they are optional to you and not medically necessary.
When to get a COVID-19 test
Testing is currently recommended if you:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Your County Public Health department asked you to get a test because of a contact tracing or outbreak investigation.
- You were in “close contact” with someone who has COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
- If you work- or live-in places such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, correctional facilities, or homeless shelters.
- If you are a person experiencing homelessness.
- If you are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public in the following areas: health care, emergency, food and grocery services, factory workers in food and retail, public transportation, and education.
- If you don’t have symptoms but believe you may be infected now because you were exposed to sick people, were around many people who were not wearing face coverings, and/or were not keeping a safe distance in the past two weeks.
Is Drive-thru Testing a Safe Option for Testing?
While there is still much unknown about the coronavirus, we know for sure the virus is highly contagious. There is a chance that you may be exposed to the virus while waiting for a test at a hospital or clinic. The idea behind drive-thru testing is simple. Keeping potentially sick individuals in their vehicles while administering tests outdoors greatly lowers the risk of spreading the infection to otherwise healthy individuals.
How long does it take to get results from Drive-Thru testing?
Most drive-thru testing locations only collect specimens for testing. In less than five minutes, the healthcare professionals gather samples from you using a nose or throat swab. Your samples will be sent to a laboratory for testing and getting the results back could take up to a week. Rapid testing is becoming more available, and you may be able to find drive-thru testing sites in your area that can provide results in as little as 15 minutes. Check with your state’s health department to find out which locations in your area offer rapid testing.
How do I protect myself from COVID-19?
COVID most commonly spreads between people in close contact through respiratory droplets or small particles produced when an infected person coughs, talks, or breathes. According to the CDC, growing evidence shows that droplets can remain suspended in the air and travel distances beyond six feet. Indoor environments with poor ventilation increase the risk of transmission.
To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when in public settings or around others.
- Maintain at least six feet distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
- Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
Authorized and approved vaccines:
Vaccines authorized for emergency use or approved for full use by the FDA in the U.S.
- Tozinameran (Comirnaty), from BioNTech, Pfizer, and Fosun Pharma
- mRNA-1273, from Moderna, NIAID, BARDA, and CEPI
- Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, from Janssen Pharmaceutica (owned by Johnson & Johnson), and BIDMC
As vaccines are available for use by people 12 years and older, it is important to keep taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Limit gatherings with others.
- Practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wear a mask in public.
Now that there are several vaccines available to you, here is what you should know:
The CDC has the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 Vaccines. Please go to the CDC Vaccine Information site for more information.
- NOVA Pathfinder does not cover the cost of the COVD-19 Vaccine. The government will cover the cost of the Vaccine itself.
- Please use local resources and the internet to find out how and where to find the Vaccine in your area.
- The Vaccine will be provided at no cost to you since it is covered by the Federal Government’s Emergency Fund. Watch out for providers that may charge other fees within their office. Your insurance does not cover these fees, so arrange this before you visit your provider so they will not be charging you.
Visit CDC.gov for additional trustworthy information on the COVID-19 vaccines.