The best way to protect those around you from COVID-19 is to not be around others when you have it. The only way to know for sure if you have it is to get tested. While there are plenty of places in Philadelphia to get tested for COVID-19, testing yourself at home is frequently easier and quicker.
Why is at-home testing important?
At-home COVID-19 testing is important because it gives you and your housemates the flexibility to get tested at any time without having to take time away from work or school. If someone wakes up and does not feel 100 percent, you can grab a test you already have on-hand to rule out a COVID-19 infection and can start the day without messing up your schedule. If the test comes back positive, the sick person can hop right back in bed and not expose anyone else.
There are a number of other benefits to you and your community from using an at-home COVID-19 test:
- You’ll know what the result is within a few minutes as opposed to waiting a few days for a PCR test result to come back.
- By having the ability to test at home, it helps relieve some of the burden from the existing health care community, who can then focus testing resources on those who need them.
- At-home rapid antigen tests use the same technology as antigen tests used by health care professionals, so they are just as effective in detecting an active COVID-19 infection.
Where can you get a COVID-19 test?
- Order two sets of 4 at-home COVID-19 tests for free through COVIDtests.gov
- Many local neighborhood and online retailers or pharmacies have at-home COVID tests available for purchase
If you have health insurance, your insurance company can reimburse you for the cost of the tests that you purchase. They are required to provide reimbursement for 8 at-home tests per month, for each person enrolled on the plan. Health plans will reimburse up to $12 per individual test. If you do this, you will need to submit receipts for tests that you’ve purchased to your health plan, along with any other necessary documentation required by the health plan. The federal government has more information on how to get reimbursed for purchasing at-home COVID-19 tests.
The Health Department is working with community organizations to run COVID-19 Resource Hubs and other distribution events that distribute at-home tests at no cost to individuals:
- Individuals do not need insurance or an ID of any kind to receive a test.
- Everyone is eligible to receive 2 at-home test kits.
- Health Department staff is available on-site to provide instructions on how to use the test, isolation/quarantine guidance, and answer any questions.
|Distribution Locations and Hours of Operation|
|Amtrak 30th Street Station||2955 Market Street, 19104||Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00am-3:00pm|
|Bethany Baptist Church||5747 Warrington Avenue, 19143||Monday-Friday: 10:30am-5:30pm; Saturday: 9:30am-12:30pm|
|Mi Salud Wellness Center||200 East Wyoming Avenue, 19120||Monday and Thursday: 9:00am-4:00pm; Tuesday: 11:30am-6:30pm; Wednesday and Friday: 7:30am-1:30pm|
|Mt. Enon Baptist Church||500 Snyder Avenue, 19148||Monday-Friday: 11:30am-6:30pm; Saturday: 9:30am-4:30pm|
|Quartermaster Plaza – COMING SOON||West Oregon Avenue and 23rd Street, 19145||To Be Determined|
|The Shoppes at LaSalle – STARTING April 12, 2022||5301 Chew Avenue, 19138||Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-5:30pm|
(through 5/31 only)
|1539 West Venango St, 19140||Sunday-Friday: 2:30pm-7:00pm|
|Whitman Plaza||330 West Oregon Avenue, 19148||Sunday-Friday: 11:30am-6:30pm|
How do you use at-home COVID-19 tests?
All at-home COVID-19 tests come with instructions on how to use them and interpret the results. The CDC has a website that goes over how to take an at-home COVID-19 tests. And the Health Department has created videos to demonstrate how to use some of the more popular at-home tests:
It’s also important to remember that the solutions used in at-home COVID-19 tests are not for drinking or putting on food or putting in your eye. Use them only for their intended purpose.