Pima County COVID-19 Testing Centers

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How to take and report your test

Info on how to take self tests and and report the results.

Free at-home test kits from the federal government are back

Anyone who visits covidtests.gov may order four at-home COVID-19 test kits per household. Kits will be delivered via U.S. Mail.


Who should get tested?

  • Anyone with symptoms.
  • Anyone who has had close contact with an infected person should test at least five days after contact.
  • Anyone planning to spend time with someone at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.


Antigen vs. PCR Testing

ANTIGEN TESTS: Fast turnaround tests that look for COVID-19 antigens, or small pieces of protein, in your respiratory tract.

PCR TESTS:
 Require laboratory services that look for COVID-19 nucleic acid. They typically take around 24-48 hours to provide results. 

Expiration dates extended on at-home test kits

The FDA has announced extended expiration dates for a number of popular at-home test kits, including the BinaxNOW and iHealth Labs kits. To find out if your kit's date has been extended, see the table at the bottom of this FDA web page.

How to get free at-home tests

  • The federal government has reinstated its free at-home test kit program. Anyone can visit covidtests.gov and order four test kits per household. Kits will be delivered via U.S. Mail.
  • Most people with a health plan can go online, or to a pharmacy or store to purchase an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at no cost, either through reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance. Insurers must pay for up to eight tests per covered individual per month. Contact your insurance provider if you have questions. As of April 4, 2022, Medicare beneficiaries may also have up to eight tests per month covered. Click here for more information about this initiative. If covered by Medicare or Medicaid, click here for additional information.
  • Click for more information on how to take a self-test and to report results.

Pima County Health Department free testing center


Abrams Public Health Center    
3950 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson

Monday through Friday:
8 a.m. - noon; 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

New hours, starting Monday, Feb. 6:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:
8 a.m. - noon; 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Test: Nasal swab
Antigen test offered at no cost to patient


No appointment needed

Pima County Health Department self-test distribution events - no appointment needed



Sahuarita Library
670 W. Sahuarita Rd.
Wednesday, Feb. 8
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
5th Annual UAHS LGBTQIA+ National Symposium
1670 E. Drachman St.
Friday, Feb. 10
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tucson Cars and Coffee
4075 W. Ina Rd.
 
Saturday, Feb. 11
7 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Pima County Public Library at-home test distribution sites


The Health Department has teamed up with the Pima County Public Library system to create 26 distribution points for FREE at-home COVID-19 tests throughout the county. At-home tests can be picked up at every library branch during regular hours of operation while supplies last. To find the location closest to you and confirm the hours of operation you can visit the library system's "find a location" page here.


How can I get the most accurate results from a COVID-19 self-test?

To get the most accurate results from the rapid self-tests, especially with the rise of new COVID-19 variants such as omicron, they have to be timed right. Testing immediately after exposure is likely yield a negative test result, because the virus needs time to multiply and produce a viral load high enough that the rapid test can detect. Experts advise the best time to administer a rapid test is 3-5 days after exposure. If you have symptoms, using a self-test shortly after symptoms begin, and then repeating it 1-2 days later is more likely to yield an accurate result. If using the test before getting together with others, some health experts suggest taking a rapid test just as you arrive, instead of taking it hours (or days) before. With the rapid self-tests, it is also important to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Read more about self-testing from the CDC.

Emergency warning signs include, but not limited to:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake
  • Bluish lips or face

If you have a medical emergency call 9-1-1. Notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19 so first responders can take proper precautions when they arrive.

If your clinician determines you should be tested for COVID-19, they may use the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory guidance to determine if your sample should go through the State Public Health Laboratory or to a commercial laboratory. The turnaround time varies at each lab (typically 3-5 days). Your clinician will get your result and share them with you.

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Health Department

3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

(520) 724-7770

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