COVID-19 Active Infection
This anterior nares (nasal) swab collection kit, which is authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)*, allows you to collect your sample to be tested at our laboratory. This test is used to screen for COVID-19, an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
- At-Home Collection: You can collect an upper respiratory nasal sample at home using the collection kit we will send to you. This collection kit will be sent to your home via FedEx® at no additional charge. Detailed instructions on how to collect your sample are included in the collection kit. Also included are a prepaid FedEx overnight shipping label and envelope that you can use to securely ship your sample to our lab for testing.
- Drive-Thru Collection: You can visit a drive-thru location for observed self-collection of a nasal swab sample. You will swab your nose on-site while in your vehicle, observed by a trained healthcare professional to ensure the sample is collected correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on your way out of the drive-thru location.
NOTE: Before you complete your purchase, you must schedule an appointment if you select this option. Select the location, date, and time that works best for you. Drive-thru locations may be limited or unavailable in some areas, and collection hours may vary by location.
This test does not require fasting and is only available for persons 18 years of age or older.
COVID-19 is highly contagious. Cases of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. Most people infected with this virus have mild symptoms. Some people who are infected don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel sick but can still transmit the virus to others. More severe cases of COVID-19 have been seen in older adults and those with weakened immune systems or pre-existing health issues. However, serious illness can also occur in younger adults.
For more information on COVID-19 and the Quest COVID-19 Active Infection test, please visit our QuestDirect FAQs.
IMPORTANT: Please seek immediate medical care if you have signs of a serious medical condition.
These include, but are not limited to, persistent fever (lasting longer than 48 hours) greater than 102°F or a persistent low-grade fever, severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, continuous pain or pressure in the chest, severe coughing spells or coughing up blood, irregular heartbeat, confusion, blue lips or face, dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling too weak to stand, feeling very tired or lethargic, slurred speech or seizures, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, or feeling not well enough to stay home.
Fees and Payment
INDIVIDUALS MAY HAVE COVID-19 TESTING FULLY PAID BY THEIR HEALTH PLAN OR THE GOVERNMENT, WITH NO OUT-OF-POCKET COST, WHEN BILLED TO THE HEALTH PLAN OR THE GOVERNMENT. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THAT NO-COST OPTION, CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
However, individuals also have the right to have testing that they do not wish to submit to insurance or the government for reimbursement. For such individuals only, QuestDirect provides an alternative option where you can conveniently shop and pay online. This option is only for individuals who want to pay directly for the testing and do not want to seek reimbursement from their insurance carrier or the government. You understand that Services purchased under or through this website are solely your financial responsibility.
Please note that QuestDirect is unable to provide you with a receipt that contains the basic information generally required by health plans for reimbursement.
This test may be helpful if you:
- Currently have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms may include tiredness, body or muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and/or runny or stuffy nose.
- Live or work in a place where people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity (this can include healthcare settings, homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, group homes, prisons, detention centers, schools, and workplaces).
- Have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Your employer, public health department, contact investigator, or healthcare provider has identified you as someone who should get tested.
- You are visiting a place that requires testing prior to arrival. This testing can also be used to identify individuals who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 or have no known exposure to SARS-CoV-2, but who are unknowingly infected.
- You are trying to determine if a prior infection with COVID-19 has resolved.
This test may NOT be helpful if you:
- Currently have severe symptoms that limit your daily activities. Seek medical attention right away if this is the case.
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 3 months. When you test positive, you will not need to be tested again for 3 months, as long as you do not develop new symptoms. For some individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, parts of the virus may continue to be in their samples for up to 3 months, although they may not be contagious during this time.
- Do not have symptoms and none of the above statements apply to you.
While You Wait For Your Results
The number of new active infection cases per day continues to break records. This is putting increased pressure on every laboratory’s turnaround time and as a result, turnaround times have increased from the typical 24 – 48 hours. As testing conditions continue to evolve, stay up to date on estimated turnaround times. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide you with timely results during these challenging times.
After receiving your results, you will have an opportunity to speak with a licensed physician, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps in care. We highly recommend that you speak with your healthcare provider regarding your next steps as well.
We suggest you continue to follow your federal, state, and local government guidance around social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions.
Understanding Your Results
If your results are positive, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately, self-isolate, and monitor your symptoms.
If your results are negative, you were most likely not infected with COVID-19 at the time of sample collection. However, it is important to note that in some cases there is not enough SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the sample to detect the virus. This can happen in a certain percentage of cases during the stages of infection. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider for further evaluation, and to take protective measures to avoid infecting others.
Learn more about COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing here.
Other helpful resources include these websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019
- World Health Organization: Coronavirus
*About the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Status
This test has been authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This means that while Quest Diagnostics has validated the test and has the data to believe the test and the collection kit are accurate, this test has not been FDA-cleared or -approved; This test has been authorized by FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories; this test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens; and, this test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use on in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(B)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360BBB-3(B)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
Additional studies need to be conducted for this test and others like it to be FDA cleared or approved.