Select Patient First Centers Now Offer COVID-19 Virus Testing (Current Infection)

Updated November 25, 2020


Schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 Virus Test (Current Infection) CLICK HERE

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Select Patient First Centers now offer COVID-19 Virus Testing by appointment. Virus Testing is a tool to help determine if you currently have COVID-19. It is for patients who are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or meet any of the other screening criteria below. For information about Antibody Testing, which helps determine if you have had COVID-19 in the past and is for patients who are not experiencing symptoms, please click here

COVID-19 Virus Testing is currently offered at the following Patient First Centers:

Schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 Virus Test (Current Infection) CLICK HERE

All Patient First Centers, including the Designated Testing Centers, remain Open Every Day for Walk-in Care of Illness and Injury.


Who can be tested?  In order to make an appointment to be tested, patients must meet screening criteria, which are based on CDC guidance. The screening criteria include meeting any of the following conditions:

  • Symptoms
    • You have at least one of the following:
      • Coughing
      • Shortness of Breath
      • Difficulty Breathing
    • OR you have at least two of the following:
      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Sore Throat
      • Fatigue
      • Body Aches or Muscle Pain
      • Headache
      • Nausea and/or Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Loss of Appetite
      • Loss of Smell and/or Taste
  • You are a healthcare worker or first responder.
  • You have had prolonged contact with (e.g. live with or work closely with) a COVID-19 positive person or a person waiting for COVID-19 test results.
  • You reside in a nursing home or other congregate living facility.
  • You are a cancer patient who requires COVID-19 testing before beginning or resuming treatment.
  • You are required by your doctor, hospital, or outpatient surgical center to have COVID-19 testing prior to a planned surgery.
  • You are required by your employer to have COVID-19 testing prior to beginning or returning to work.
  • You are required by another entity to have COVID-19 testing, such as to attend school or camp, or due to travel/transportation requirements.


What is the cost?  If you have insurance, we will submit our charge for your visit and exam to your insurance plan. Many plans cover COVID-19 testing and related visits with no cost-share, but your insurance plan will determine whether you are responsible for any portion of the visit charge or the laboratory charges for testing. Patient First accepts all major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Your insurance plan determines if you are responsible for any out-of-pocket expense.

For most self-pay patients, there is no out-of-pocket cost for the exam. You may receive a separate bill from the lab in some cases. The lab will determine what, if anything, it bills the patient. 


What type of test does Patient First offer?   At designated Patient First Centers, we offer reference lab RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase – Polymerase Chain Reaction) molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19. We offer the RT-PCR test because it is typically highly accurate (source: FDA) and is generally the type of test necessary to meet travel or return-to-work requirements. Patient First does not offer a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 test at this time. For more information about the different types of available tests, please read our blog post by clicking here.


How long does it take to receive test results?   The turnaround time for test results from our laboratory partners is currently 3 to 7 days in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Virginia and Maryland, the turnaround time for test results is currently 3 to 5 days.


What is the process for a COVID-19 Virus Test (Current Infection)?

  1. Schedule an appointment by clicking here. (Please use a web browser other than Internet Explorer.)
  2. One hour before your appointment, you will receive an appointment reminder e-mail. The reminder e-mail will include an "I'm Here" link with instructions to click the link when you arrive in the center's parking lot.
  3. Arrive on time with your picture ID and insurance card (if insured) on hand. Please do not enter the center's front entrance. Instead, click the "I'm Here" link found in the appointment reminder email. You will be taken to a verification page. Confirm that your contact information is correct and click "I'm Here" once again.
    Please note, if you are unable to access the e-mail and click "I'm Here", simply call the center when you arrive in the center's parking lot.
    Furthermore, you are welcome and encouraged to park in one of the two reserved COVID-19 test patients' parking spots. The reserved spots are located near the center's side or back entrance and will be marked by signs and orange cones.  Due to testing demand, patients who arrive early will most likely have to wait until their scheduled appointment time to be tested.
  4. Once you click the "I'm Here" link, we will call you to register you over the phone.
  5. Once you are registered, a staff member will call you and direct you to a designated entrance located at the side or back of the center.
  6. The COVID-19 test sample will be collected in a designated testing room and then sent to the lab for testing.
  7. You will receive your result via text message or through a phone call from a nurse. The option for how you would like to receive your test results will be determined during registration. The result will also be available on the Patient First Portal.


Instructions about how to view and/or transmit your test result  CLICK HERE

Understanding your COVID-19 Virus Test Result  CLICK HERE