COVID-19 testing guide | The Lens

Kristin

We’ve tried to break down this guide by testing criteria. But the actual process of being tested has changed weekly, if not daily, so if you find that the information we’ve provided doesn’t match what you find when you get tested, email [email protected] (Last updated Nov. 18, 2020)

Will I need to pay?

In March, Congress passed a relief bill that was supposed to cover the costs of testing for the uninsured, and require that insurance companies pick up the full cost of testing for policyholders. However, this has not always been the case in practice. Community testing sites run by the city of New Orleans will definitely be free, and we’ll note the price of other options if we can find it. If you are charged for COVID-19 testing, we’d like to hear about it.

What qualifies as a symptom?

To be tested at a location that says you need to meet CDC testing criteria, you need symptoms, or to have spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who subsequently tested positive. Those symptoms are:

  • Fever or feeling feverish (such as chills, sweating)
  • Cough
  • Mild or moderate difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose

You can also check your eligibility on the CDC website.

How do I get tested if I have no symptoms?

City of New Orleans testing sites

  • Drive-through and walk up testing, parking available.
  • In most cases, testing should be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon. – Sat., at different sites, although tests can run out.
  • No sign up needed.
  • Locations vary. See the city’s full schedule. (Though the city’s website may indicate otherwise, testing sites at UNO Lakefront Arena and Mahalia Jackson Theater close at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.)
  • PCR test takes between one and several days, and test for active infection.
  • Test is free and available to all ages.
  • Tests available to people with or without symptoms.

Crescent Care

1631 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA.
(504) 821-2601
crescentcarehealth.org

  • Walk up testing, parking available.
  • Testing is free and available to all ages.
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Test is now a shallow nasal swab, rather than the previous deep swab.
  • No sign-up needed
  • PCR test takes between one and several days, and test for active infection
  • Tests available to people with or without symptoms

CORE

7300 Crowder Blvd, New Orleans, LA
(504) 206-6275
Website

  • Walk up testing, parking available.
  • So far, all testing has taken place at St. Maria Goretti Church in New Orleans East. However, additional sites may be added. See the full schedule.
  • Currently, testing is available 1 – 6 p.m. Mon – Fri, and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sat.
  • No sign up needed.
  • Test is a self-administered mouth swab, and uses PCR, which tests for active infection. Results are returned in 3 – 5 business days.
  • Test is free and available to all ages.
  • Test available to people with or without symptoms -Instructions say “Do NOT eat, drink, or smoke anything 30 minutes before arriving.”

Where can kids get tested?

Testing at New Orleans walk-up testing sites, CORE, and CrescentCare (see above) is available to all ages.

How do I get tested if I have symptoms?

Ochsner Urgent Care Clinics

ochsner.org/testing

  • Walk up testing (parking available)
  • No sign up needed, although you can schedule an appointment ahead of time
  • PCR test result takes several days, and test for active infection

Locations:

4100 Canal St., New Orleans, LA (504) 218-4853
4605 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA (504) 891-7676
111 Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans, LA (504) 286-2004
2000 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, LA (504) 280-6387

Walgreens

7401 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA (504) 242 6035

  • Drive through testing only (you’ll self-administer a test in your car)
  • You’ll need to schedule a testing time by answering a few questions about your symptoms. Testing slots are available from 9AM to 5PM
  • As of Sept. 28, testing is free
  • PCR test result takes up to three days, and test for active infection

CVS

  • Drive through testing (you’ll self-administer a test in your car)
  • You’ll need to schedule a testing time by answering a few questions about your symptoms. Testing slots are available from 9:30AM to 4PM depending on location.
  • As of 9/28, testing is free. Although the website says you’ll need an insurance card, you can still get tested if you’re uninsured. Bring an ID.
  • PCR test result takes several days, and tests for active infection

Locations:

1600 Elysian Fields Avenue New Orleans (504) 949-2100
4401 S Claiborne Ave, New Orleans (504) 891- 7737
3700 S. Carrollton Ave, New Orleans (504) 488 1110
3621 General DE Gaulle Drive, New Orleans (504) 362 0700
2585 Leon C. Simon Drive, New Orleans (504) 284 2122

LCMC Urgent Care

826 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA (504) 309-7108
lcmchealth.org/lcmc-health-care-locations/urgent-care/

  • Walk up testing (parking available)
  • You’ll need to make an appointment to get tested, and appointments are available from 9:30AM to 7:30PM.
  • Testing is not free without insurance. The visit will cost $129, and the test itself will be $55.
  • Lakeview location offers both PCR and rapid tests at the discretion of the doctor administering the test. PCR test results take about 24 hours, and rapid test results take 10 to 30 minutes. Both test for active infections

Can I get rapid testing?

Yes, but only at one location outside the city. Other options exist, but are at doctor’s discretion or require a referral.

However, as of October 28, the Louisiana Department of Health does not recommend using rapid tests to detect asymptomatic cases. According to LDH, rapid tests “miss some infections that would be detected by a PCR test, and they may be positive in someone who does not actually have the infection.” A rapid test should only be used if you are experiencing symptoms, and should not be used to rule out infection–say, before a Thanksgiving dinner.

Walgreens Rapid Testing

1544 Manhattan Blvd, Harvey, LA

  • Drive through testing only (you’ll self-administer a test in your car)
  • You’ll need to schedule a testing time by answering a few questions about your symptoms. Testing slots are available from 9AM to 5PM
  • As of 9/28, testing is free
  • A rapid test returns results in 10-30 minutes, and test for an active infection

How can I get an antibody test?

You can get an antibody test from LCMC or Ochsner, but you will need to schedule an appointment and pay. (More on that in the primary care provider section.)

Ochsner Blood Bank

1516 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans, LA (504) 842-3375

  • If you sign up to donate blood, you can also get an antibody test.
  • You’ll need to sign up to donate. The blood bank is open Monday to Thursday from 8:30AM to 5:30PM, Friday from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, and Saturday from 7AM to 3PM.
  • The process is free, but you have to successfully donate to be tested.
  • Results come back in one to two days.

Can I get tested through my primary care provider?

Yes. LCMC and Ochsner both offer PCR tests and antibody tests via referral. This will require scheduling a primary care appointment.

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