Frequently Asked Questions | Testing for COVID-19

Accessing testing kits

Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

Please try the following options:

  1. While supplies last, order a free testing kit from Say Yes! COVID Test ( // Limit one order per household.
  2. Order a free testing kit from the Federal program at Limit one order per household.
  3. Purchase an at-home test at local retailers and pharmacies.
  4. If you have health insurance, most insurers will now pay you back for up to 8 at-⁠home tests per month, for each person on your plan. More info here.
  5. Get a test at a testing location near you:

If you need help finding a testing site near you, check with your local health department or district (in English). You may also call 1-800-525-0127 then press # (press 7 for Spanish), language assistance available.

I don’t have internet access// The website isn’t available in my language… how do I order a free kit in WA?

Please call 1-800-525-0127 then press # (press 7 for Spanish), language assistance available. The call center can order on your behalf through the WA and federal online portals.

The website says the tests are out of stock, when will they be available?

Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact date for when tests will be back in stock as the delay is due to national supply chain demands. Please check back regularly at Thank you for your patience!

If you need a test more immediately, please any of the following options:

  1. Order a free testing kit from the Federal program at
  2. Purchase an at-home test at local retailers and pharmacies.
  3. If you have health insurance, most insurers will now pay you back for up to 8 at-⁠home tests per month, for each person on your plan. More info here.
  4. Get a test at a testing location near you:

Why did the state of Washington launch a program before there were enough kits for every household?

We anticipate people’s initial interest in the test kits will exceed our current supply pretty quickly, but our focus is sharing what we have right now. We want to make sure these tests getting to the hands of those who need it the most –during the current surge.

What do I need to know about the Say Yes! COVID Test online portal?

This program is a cooperative effort between the State of Washington, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While supplies last, people across Washington can order a rapid COVID-19 test kit, delivered directly to their home by Amazon.

Only one order can be made per household/residential address and each order comes with 4-5 rapid tests. All orders and shipping are free.

While supplies last, people can request their COVID-19 test kit at or by calling 1-800-525-0127 (language assistance available). For more information about this program, visit FAQ – Say Yes! To Covid Test (

For questions related to the test itself or how to perform it, visit the Say Yes! COVID Test Digital Assistant or call 1-833-784-2588.

Can you order both the Say YES! COVID Test from DOH and the Federal testing kit?

Yes, if you live in the state of Washington, you can place orders at both the Say YES! COVID test website and at the Federal website ( to receive at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits.

How can I order for another person’s household?

After you have ordered for your household, the website automatically offers a prompt on your confirmation screen that includes a link to order for another household.

You can also go back to the main ordering page, attempt to enter your zip code and when the pop up box says you already ordered, click on the link that says, “Click here if you’d like to order for another household”

Where can I go if I have more questions?

If you have more questions about the DOH Say Yes! COVID Test program, visit or call the DOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 (language assistance available).  For questions about the Federal testing program, visit

When will I receive my free tests?

Tests requested through either program (Say YES! COVID Test or Federal Program) will usually ship within 1-2 weeks of ordering.

After following all of the recommended testing options, I still can’t find a test anywhere. What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Sorry you are having a difficult time locating a COVID-19 test, we know supply is currently limited nationwide.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 and are concerned you may be infected, we recommend the following:

  • Follow the same guidance for what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • If you are unable to isolate, you should do the following:
    • Wear a mask that securely covers your nose and mouth anytime you are around other people outside of your home (preferably a KN95, KF-94, or a 3-ply surgical mask, if possible).
    • Keep at least 6 feet/2 meters of physical distance from other people.
    • Wash your hands regularly.
    • Avoid crowds and large gatherings.

General testing

Who should get tested?

The Department of Health (DOH) recommends testing for anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

DOH also recommends testing for people with likely exposures, such as close contacts of cases, or those exposed in outbreak situations.

What happens if I test positive?

Follow the latest CDC and DOH guidance and isolate at home, away from others. All close contacts should quarantine.

  • Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons). They should wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days.
  • If an individual has access to a test and wants to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day isolation period. Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
    • If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10.
    • If your test result is negative,  you can end isolation, but continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until day 10.

To report a positive at-home COVID-19 test result and access care services, please call the Washington State COVID Hotline at 1-800-525-0127. Language assistance is available.

If you already have WA Notify downloaded or enabled on your smartphone, you can use this tool to report a positive test result too.

Further information can be found here: What to do if you test positive.

After being exposed, when will a person test positive?

Once a person is infected with COVID-19, the PCR test may not show the presence of the virus for five days after exposure. So you could have it, but the test may not show it for a while. Timing is key for getting a positive test result. If you have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 but are not sick, it is best to get tested at least 5 days after the last potential exposure. Antigen tests generally are most accurate when people have symptoms but can be used for people without symptoms in some circumstances.

How long do results take?

It depends on the type of test, and where the sample is sent for testing. The results for antigen tests can come back in as quickly as 10 minutes. For PCR tests, it can take several days.

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