What you need to know about getting tested for COVID-19 in DC Metro

Places in the DC Metro area are slowly opening back up. Washington, D.C. is currently planning to end its social distancing restrictions to June 8th (of course, there’s always a possibility of extension) (source). While Virginia and Maryland already eased restrictions on some nonessential businesses in mid-May (source).

While many of us may be looking forward to getting back to “normal,” we have to recognize the increased possibility of contracting COVID-19. If that does happen, we want you to know where to go and what to do. Here’s the rundown on what you need to know about getting tested for COVID-19 in the DC Metro area.

How do you test for COVID-19?

The clinician will insert a 6-inch long swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds, rotating the swab several times. The process is then repeated on the other side of the nose to ensure enough material is collected. That swab is then put in a container and sent to a lab for testing.

Who should get tested for Coronavirus?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that not everyone needs to be tested for coronavirus. If you have no symptoms, and have not been explosed to anyone with the virus, it is not necessary. If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or live in a community with an ongoing spread, and have developed symptoms, talk to your health care provider and they will decide whether or not you need to be tested.

The following people will be prioritized for testing:

  • People over 60
  • Individuals with underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer)

Where are the testing facilities in the District of Columbia?

  • Grubb’s Pharmacies has drive-up testing by appointment at its three locations in Anacostia, Capitol Hill, and Georgetown.
  • The Children’s National Health System has a drive thru and walk-up testing facility at Trinity Washington University for patients up to 22 years old.
  • UDC-CC Bertie Backus campus in Queens Chapel offers walk-up and drive thru testing by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call (855) 363-0333 for pre-screening.
  • George Washington University Hospital in Foggy Bottom has both walk-up and drive thru options for patients with doctor’s recommendations. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment at 20th and H Streets NW.
  • Kaiser Permanente members can get a drive thru or walk-up test at the Capitol Hill location.
  • Southeast’s United Medical Center has a separate area devoted to potential COVID patients. Call (855) 363-0333 for pre-screening.
  • AllCare has opened drive thru testing by appointment at their locations, including at 1710 Rhode Island Avenue NW.

Where are Testing Centers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties?

  • Drive-thru testing has opened at the emissions facility at White Oak
  • Prince George’s County is now doing drive-thru testing at the Cheverly Health Center. Potential patients must first call hotline at (301) 883-6627.
  • MedStar Health is now testing at Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center in Bethesda.
  • Family medicine group Kelly Goodman, NP & Associates also runs two drive thru testing sites in Bethesda, at the Sangamore Road Safeway.
  • Public drive thru testing is at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center and is available by appointment only for those with symptoms.
  • Montgomery County is offering drive thru testing at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown.
  • Kaiser Permanente members have drive thru or walk-up testing at the Gaithersburg, Largo, Marlow Heights, Rockville, and Shady Grove locations.
  • PM Pediatrics locations in Maryland and Virginia are testing those up to 26 years old, by appointment. There is no formal drive thru, but waiting in your car is encouraged.

Where are testing centers in Arlington and Alexandria?

  • Virginia Hospital Center has drive thru testing at 1429 N. Quincy Street.
  • The Inova in Old Town Alexandria on S. Washington Street offers drive-up testing by appointment, as does the Tysons Corner location.
  • Northern Virginia’s Neighborhood Health has opened drive thru testing facilities for members at its locations in Arlandria, at Inova on North Howard Street, on Richmond Highway, and in Pine Ridge.
  • AllCare is also offering drive thru testing by appointment at their locations in Alexandria and Tysons Corner.