COVID-19 Testing

Do You Need a Test?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Anyone with symptoms should get tested as soon as possible, stay away from others, and follow the instructions on how to isolate.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, wait until at least 5 days have passed since the date you think you were last exposed before getting tested, unless you develop symptoms. Follow the instructions on how to quarantine after exposure to prevent further transmission. 

  • Testing immediately after exposure isn’t helpful because it may be too early in the incubation period and there isn’t enough viral material for the test to detect.
  • Some people may not become ill for up to 14 days. For that reason, people who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, even if they test negative before the full two weeks have passed.
  • Quarantining for a full two weeks is recommended if you have close contact with high-risk individuals or live or work in a congregate setting.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, there are options to shorten your quarantine period using a combination of symptom monitoring and testing if you do not have contact with high risk individuals.
  • If your test is positive, begin isolation for 10 days. 

 Do not go to an emergency room or call 911 unless you are having a medical emergency.

  • Call 911 or go to an emergency room for:
    • Symptoms of a heart attack or stroke
    • Difficulty breathing or choking
    • Difficulty speaking, walking, or seeing
    • An allergic reaction
    • Confusion, dizziness, or disorientation
    • Sudden, severe pain
  • Do not call 911 for:
    • A ride to the doctor's office
    • COVID-19 testing
    • Mild symptoms
    • Information about COVID-19

Testing Locations

Testing locations in Weld County include but may not be limited to:  

University of Northern Colorado

new free community testing site is open on the University of Northern Colorado campus in the Bishop Lehr Building. The test is a nasal swab, and results are available four days after testing.

This community testing site allows drive-up and walk-up testing for anyone who wants to get tested. Online pre-registration is not required but is encouraged to help reduce wait time.

Testing site information:

  • When: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., seven days a week
  • Where: Bishop Lehr Building, 1348 20th St., Greeley, CO 80631. The building is located to the southwest of the 11th Avenue and 20th Street intersection and people should enter off 20th Street driving east.

Banner Health

If you are concerned you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms such as fever or dry cough, please contact your primary care provider.

UCHealth

UCHealth has a drive-thru specimen-collection center outside Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. This replaces the collection center that had been operating at the Ranch Events Complex. This site offers both the nasal swab test and the antibody test. Nasal swab tests are $85. Many insurance providers cover COVID-19 testing. Patients should check with their insurance for details. Antibody blood tests are $100.

Testing is available to anyone who would like a test. 

New testing site information:

  • When: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8:00 a.m. - noon Saturdays and Sundays
  • Where: Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Avenue, Loveland, CO 80538. Patients should enter the MCR campus via the Spirit Lake Court entrance (the north entrance) and follow signs to the registration area..

Make an appointment and/or find another testing location on the UCHealth website. Patients with a doctor's order do not need an appointment.

  • In northern Colorado, UCHealth has drive-through specimen collection sites in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Longmont.

NextCare Urgent Care

NextCare Urgent Care has available at its Greeley and Longmont locations curbside testing, rapid testing, and antibody testing. Patients presenting COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to use curbside services. If you are not presenting viral or COVID-19 symptoms, you will be asked to come into the clinic. To access curbside care, NextCare requests you contact the clinic before visiting. NextCare also recommends all patients book a time online at https://nextcare.com/ to help reduce wait time, but walk-ins are accepted.

Greeley testing site information:

  • When: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Mondays – Fridays; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays
  • Where: NextCare Urgent Care, 1011 39th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80634

Longmont testing site information:

  • When: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturdays – Sundays
  • Where: NextCare Urgent Care, 2144 Main Street #8, Longmont, CO 80501 

Good Day Pharmacy

Good Day Pharmacy in Greeley is now offering only rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. PCR tests are no longer available at Good Day Pharmacy. Tests are $100 and provide same-day results. A confirmatory PCR test may be recommended if a patient presents with symptoms and has a negative rapid COVID test result due to a possible false-negative result. If testing is needed because of exposure to someone who is a confirmed COVID-positive patient, wait 5 days from the date of exposure before getting tested to avoid false-negative results.

Testing site information:

  • Where: Greeley Medical Clinic, 2000 16th St., Greeley, CO 80631, west side parking lot near the green tent
  • When: Various days throughout the week 
  • Appointment required: Patients must go to the Good Day Pharmacy website to complete an eligibility assessment and schedule an appointment. Do not call the pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Tests are by appointment only.

When a patient arrives, they should stay in their vehicle and a team member will come out. Call (970) 576-3178 if you need assistance. 

Kaiser Permanente

If you are a Kaiser member and need information on how to receive a diagnostic or antibody test for COVID-19, go to the Kaiser COVID-19 testing webpage.

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine can provide COVID-19 testing to members of the general public. There are three tests to choose from depending on where you go for testing: lab-based PCR, rapid PCR, and rapid anitgen. 

People who want a lab based-PCR or rapid antigen test must first go through a telehealth visit. Telehealth visits are available 7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Most major insurances including Medicaid and Medicare are accepted for the virtual visits. Telehealth visits are not required for rapid PCR tests.

Types of Testing 

Molecular-Based (PCR) Testing

A molecular amplification test detects genetic material from a specific virus in patient samples. Most molecular tests for COVID-19 are called PCR tests; however, there are a few other molecular tests that are not called PCR. PCR is currently the best way to test for current infection with COVID-19. PCR molecular tests are processed in a lab and can take several days to return results. While this test detects current or recent infection from COVID-19, it is not useful in determining past exposure in fully recovered patients.

Antigen Testing

An antigenic test can quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus that causes COVID-19. The test is similar to a rapid flu test and is usually performed at the point-of-care by collecting a sample from the nasal cavity using a swab. Most antigen tests return results in approximately 15 minutes. While antigen tests can be less expensive and offer fast results, they are not as sensitive as PCR tests. This means a PCR test may be needed to confirm a test result in some situations. The FDA recently authorized the first COVID-19 antigen test for use in properly certified laboratories, as well as for point-of-care testing in hospitals and urgent care clinics.

Antibody (Serological) Testing

A serological test is a blood test that looks for antibodies in your blood. It can detect the body's immune response to the infection caused by the virus, rather than detecting the virus itself. While these tests can detect previous exposure to COVID-19, they cannot reliably determine if a patient is currently infected and able to spread the virus to others. A serologic test does not replace a viral test and should not be used to establish the presence or absence of a COVID-19 infection.  The CDC does not currently recommend using antibody testing  to assess for immunity to COVID-19 following COVID-19 vaccination or to assess the need for vaccination in an unvaccinated person.