COVID-19 Testing

- Arlington County’s COVID-19 Hotline: 703-228-7999
- Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 testing information
- Virginia Department of Health map/list of testing sites
- CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker

Arlington County Curative Testing Kiosks

  • Arlington Mill Community Center parking lot (909 S. Dinwiddie St.)
  • Courthouse Plaza parking lot (2088 15th St. N.; corner of 15th St. N. & N. Courthouse Rd.)
  • Virginia Highlands Park parking lot (1600 S. Hayes St.)

9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily (last appointments at 6:30 p.m.) 

Requirements: No age restrictions. Arlington residency not required. No appointments required, though they are encouraged to help reduce wait times:

  • No insurance required
  • No doctor referral required or symptoms required
  • No same-day results

Find other testing options:

Virginia Department of Health’s map/list of COVID-19 Testing Sites

Virginia Department of Health’s information on home COVID test kitsAt-home testing and collection allow you to collect a specimen or sample at home and either send it to a laboratory for testing, or perform the testing at home.

What to Do If You Are Sick

Always keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek medical attention right away.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (Last updated: 6/17/21)

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or other symptoms), isolate yourself. You should get tested immediately, even if you are fully vaccinated, had a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, or already had a negative test. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.

If you are sick and/or caring for someone

When caring for a person with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting, follow the CDC's advice to protect yourself and others.

If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (Last updated: 10/19/21)

Not fully vaccinated:

  • Quarantine
  • Get tested immediately
  • If test is negative, get tested again 5-7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine

Fully vaccinated:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a negative test result
  • Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 
  • Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

Tested Positive within Past 3 Months:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate immediately if symptoms develop
  • Consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop

Testing for COVID-19

Who should get tested for COVID-19? (Last updated: 10/19/21)

VDH recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19·

  • People with symptoms or signs of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status
  • Most people who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19
    • Fully vaccinated people should be tested 5-7 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms
    • People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure and again at 5-7 days following exposure if the first test is negative
    • People who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms
  • People who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g., travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings)
  • People who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the state/local health department
  • People who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people
  • People who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19
  • People without symptoms of COVID-19 who have no known exposures to COVID-19 but wish to help public health officials understand how many people are infected (surveillance testing) may also be considered for testing

Types of tests available

There are two main types of tests for COVID-19: viral tests (PCR or antigen) and antibody tests.

  1. viral test tells you if you have a current infection by looking for parts of the virus. Swabs that take samples from the nose or throat, or saliva, are used for these tests. Currently, there are two main viral tests used to detect COVID-19:
    1. Molecular tests (also called PCR tests) that look for the virus’s genetic material, and
    2. Antigen tests that look for a specific protein that is part of the virus. (Antigen tests can be easy to run and may cost less than molecular tests, but are not always as accurate as molecular tests.)
  2. An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection.

Guidance for healthcare providers (Last updated: 6/17/21)

Virginia Department of Health's Interim COVID-19 Testing Guidance for Healthcare Providers has the latest testing information for healthcare providers.

What to Do After Testing

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions and stay home and monitor your symptoms while waiting for your test result.

If you test positive (Last updated: 6/17/21)

If you test positive for COVID-19 (even if you have been fully vaccinated), follow these steps to care for yourself and to help protect others.

The County's health department contacts anyone who is confirmed via lab testing to have COVID-19. Read more about case investigations and contact tracing.

If you test negative (Last updated: 6/17/21)

If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.

Continue to take steps to protect yourself.