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Information for Healthcare Providers

COVID-19 Testing for the General Public

Last updated on Wednesday, Nov 18 2020, 02:51:44 PM

Who Should Get Tested

Rhode Islanders can schedule a COVID-19 test on portal.ri.gov.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends:

  • Testing for Rhode Islanders who have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Testing for Rhode Islanders who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for  COVID-19.
  • Testing for close contacts and people with symptoms in K-12 schools. LEARN More
  • Testing for Rhode Islanders who do not have symptoms (also called asymptomatic testing). LEARN More
  • Testing for travelers. LEARN More

This user guide has tips for how to access test results on portal.ri.gov/results.

For more information about COVID-19 testing in Rhode Island, review these frequently asked questions.

How To Get Tested: Close Contacts/People with Symptoms

This page offers information about how close contacts and people with symptoms can get tested for COVID-19. It may not include every site currently offering testing in Rhode Island.

Self-Schedule a COVID-19 Test on portal.ri.gov

Rhode Islanders experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who believe they have been in close contact with someone else who has COVID-19 can self-schedule a test on portal.ri.gov.

An appointment for a child can be scheduled through a parent or guardian’s portal account. Children over the age of 16 can create their own account and self-schedule an appointment.

Call a Primary Care Provider

Call a primary care provider to discuss your symptoms and get scheduled for a test. Many primary care providers are set up to test their established patients on site. Others are referring patients for testing by appointment at other locations such as Respiratory Clinics and drive-up testing sites. The primary care provider will talk with you about the best place for you to get tested. They will also let you know how you can get your test results.

RI COVID testing site locator

Search for a Testing Site Near You

Click on the side image or here to search for a testing site near you.

Call a Respiratory Clinic

  • If you don’t have a primary care provider, you can call a Respiratory Clinic.
  • Respiratory Clinics are urgent care centers, Community Health Centers, and community-based clinics across the state that are set up to evaluate patients who may have COVID-19. Most Respiratory Clinics are set up to swab patients for testing on-site and many offer drive-up and walk-up testing options.
  • You must call a Respiratory Clinic first. Unless you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should not go to any healthcare facility without calling first.
  • The Respiratory Clinic will let you know how to get your test results.

How To Get Tested If You Don’t Have Transportation or Insurance

If you don’t have insurance

There are several options to get a free COVID-19 test:

  • Call your primary care provider and ask them to refer you for a COVID-19 test at the Rhode Island Convention Center Parking Garage, 114 West Exchange St. in Providence. You can also self-schedule a test at this location on portal.ri.gov.
  • Make an appointment to get tested through a community-based Respiratory Clinic, such as a Community Health Center. Many Respiratory Clinics offer drive-up and walk-up testing options. When you make an appointment, confirm that the site provides free testing and related services for people without health insurance, regardless of immigration status.
  • Make an appointment to get tested at Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic in Providence.
  • Central Falls and Pawtucket residents ONLY can get tested by appointment at the COVID-19 testing site in Pawtucket. Services are available in multiple languages. Central Falls and Pawtucket residents ONLY may call the Beat COVID-19 Hotline at 855-843-7620 between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Testing is not available for people from other communities or people who live in other states.
  • The Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC) offers walk-up and drive-up testing for COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s Hospital parking lot next to the Free Clinic at 647 Broad St. in Providence. Call the COVID-19 hotline at 401-92-COVID (6843) to make an appointment. Testing is available to new and existing RIFC patients Monday-Thursday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Services are available in multiple languages.
  • The Lifespan Community Health Institute Mobile Clinic offers walk-up testing throughout Providence for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. Locations and hours vary. For more information, call 401-444-8136. Services are available in multiple languages.

If you don’t have transportation

Walk-up Testing Sites

There are testing options if you don’t drive and will walk to a testing site. Appointments need to be scheduled first, even if you will be walking up. Many respiratory clinics offer walk-up testing options. The following locations also offer walk-up testing:

  • Call your primary care provider and ask them to refer you for a COVID-19 test at the Rhode Island Convention Center Parking Garage, 114 West Exchange St. in Providence. You can also self-schedule a walk-up test at this location on portal.ri.gov.
  • Walk-up testing is available through Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC). MORE Call first to make an appointment.
  • Walk-up testing is available through Care New England at the former Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. Central Falls and Pawtucket residents ONLY may call the Beat COVID-19 Hotline at 855-843-7620 from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on weekdays to schedule an appointment. Testing is not available for people from other communities or people who live in other states. Services are available in multiple languages.
  • The Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC) offers walk-up and drive-through testing for COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s Hospital parking lot next to the Free Clinic at 647 Broad St. in Providence. Call the COVID-19 hotline at 401-92-COVID (6843) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to make an appointment. Testing is available to new and existing RIFC patients as well as uninsured adults Monday-Thursday from 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturdays. Services are available in multiple languages.
  • Thundermist Health Center is hosting a drive-thru and walk-up test site at 450 Clinton St. in Woonsocket. Call 401-767-4100 for more information and to make an appointment for testing. People do not need to be a patient of Thundermist Health Center to be eligible for testing; however, they must have an appointment. Bilingual English-Spanish interpretation services are available.
  • The Lifespan Community Health Institute Mobile Clinic offers walk-up testing throughout Providence for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. Locations and hours vary. For more information, call 401-444-8136. Services are available in multiple languages.

MTM

MTM has supports in place to transport people enrolled in Medicaid and people who qualify for the Elderly Transportation Program (ETP) to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm that individuals:

  • are eligible for transport;
  • have an authorization for testing; and
  • have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip.

Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) MORE This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.

Test Results and Quarantine Information

When will I get my test results?

  • It might take several days to get your test results. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and isolate yourself to avoid spreading your symptoms to others while you are waiting for your test results.
  • Test result turnaround time depends on several factors, including the laboratory conducting the testing and the time a specimen is collected and transported to the lab. Test results may be delayed for several reasons. For example, if the specimen is sent to an out-of-state commercial lab, labeled incorrectly, or information is missing, this could delay the processing time. Some delays may also be due to heightened national demand for testing supplies such as reagents.
  • If you were tested for COVID-19 in the State of Rhode Island, you can access an official record of your result at portal.ri.gov/results. You will be asked to enter your personal information and the date you were tested. You will get an error message if you try to access this portal before your results are ready or if the information you enter does not match the record.

What Happens If I Test Positive?

  • Your name and contact information will be shared with public health staff at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to help with case investigation.
  • Someone from the Department of Health will call you and ask you for a list of people you have had close contact with during your infectious period.
  • Stay at home, wash your hands often, wear a face mask, stay away from other people in your home, and clean “high-touch” surfaces” (doorknobs, railings, phones, counters, faucet handles) every day. If you have symptoms, you may leave home after these three things have happened:
    • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Your symptoms have improved and
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared (20 days if you are immunocompromised*)
  • If any of your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.
  • If you tested positive but never had symptoms and are not severely immunocompromised* , isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test.
  • *Review more detailed guidance on quarantine and isolation for different populations.
  • Resources are available for Rhode Islanders in quarantine.

What Happens If I Test Negative?

  • Your name and contact information will be shared with public health staff at RIDOH to help with case investigation.
  • If you start having any symptoms of COVID-19 after the test, call your healthcare provider and ask if you should be tested again.
  • Wash your hands often and practice social distancing (six feet between you and other people).
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you leave your house.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces” (doorknobs, railings, phones, counters, faucet handles) every day.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you most likely were not infected at the time of your test. It is also possible that you were tested very early in your infection and you could test positive later. Or you could be exposed later and get sick. This means that even with a negative test, it is important for health care workers and others who work with vulnerable populations to stay home from work while experiencing any symptoms.