COVID-19 testing is again in high demand in Oklahoma as cases have surged.
Some Oklahoma emergency rooms are being “inundated” with people showing up to be tested without emergency medical needs, Integris Health said in a news release Tuesday asking the public to refrain from going to the ER for a test.
“While some of these ED visits may be warranted, others are most appropriate for a COVID testing location, allowing emergency departments to conserve resources,” the health system said.
At-home tests can be hard to come by, but other free options for testing are also available.
Here's what you need to know:
When to get a COVID-19 test
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anyone with signs or symptoms or COVID-19 get tested, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or whether they've been infected before.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache and new loss of taste or smell. Sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms of COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should get a test between five to seven days of their last exposure.
People who aren't fully vaccinated should get tested as soon as they find out they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. If the test is negative, they should get tested again in another five to seven days or immediately if symptoms develop, according to the CDC.
People who have had COVID-19 within the last three months and have recovered don't need to get a test after an exposure as long as they don't develop new symptoms, according to the CDC.
COVID-19 testing may also be required for travel, and some Oklahoma venues are requiring vaccination or a proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry.
Types of tests
You may see several types of COVID-19 tests offered at testing sites. Polymerase chain reaction, or PCR tests, are considered the most accurate type of COVID-19 test and are typically done via a nose swab. Results usually come back in a day or two.
Rapid tests, also called antigen tests, are also usually done via a nose swab, and results can be ready in as soon as 15 minutes.
Both PCR and rapid tests look for active COVID-19 infection. A COVID-19 antibody test may be able to tell you if you've previously been infected.
Where to get a COVID-19 test
Looking for a COVID-19 test in the Oklahoma City area? Here are some places to start your search.
If you're looking for a particular type of COVID-19 test, check with the location first to make sure they're administering that type of test.
Oklahoma City-County Health Department: Make an appointment by visiting testokc.com or call 405-419-4119.
IMMY Labs: IMMY Labs has resumed offering drive-through COVID-19 tests in Norman. Make an appointment online.
Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma: Drive-through PCR and rapid antigen testing. Visit DLO's website to make an appointment.
Walgreens: Tests are available at a number of locations.
CVS: Tests are available at a number of locations.
Walmart: Tests are available at a number of locations. People interested in getting tested can fill out a questionnaire through Quest Diagnostics to determine if they're eligible for a free test without a doctor's order.
Crest Foods: Several Crest grocery store locations are offering COVID-19 testing, including in Edmond, Oklahoma City and Midwest City, according to Crest Foods' Facebook page.
Curative: PCR or rapid tests available in Oklahoma City by appointment. Some walk-in slots may be available.
Oklahoma COVID Testing Center: PCR or rapid tests in Edmond and The Village by appointment. Some walk-in slots may be available.
More options: The Oklahoma Health Department has a list of COVID-19 testing sites, many of which are at local health departments across the state. The state Health Department recommends calling ahead before visiting a location.
At-home COVID-19 tests are also being sold at drug stores and other locations. Some offer rapid results, while others have to be shipped off to a lab to be processed.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Where can I get a COVID-19 test in and around Oklahoma City?