Coronavirus Testing - Information & Guidance

The Howard County Health Department does NOT determine testing needs, nor order testing for COVID-19. We offer guidance using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria. 

Who Should Get Tested

New recommendations for Coronavirus testing (5-13-2020)Who Can Get Tested for COVID-19 - Click for PDF version

  • Persons with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, including: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat. 

  • Persons without symptoms who are prioritized by health departments or clinicians, for any reason.

 

***Governor Hogan Announces Broadened Testing Strategy - View Press Release HERE ***  (May 19, 2020)
 

For more information, read these Coronavirus Testing Frequently Asked Questions from the Maryland Department of Health.  MDH Testing Guidelines


Governor’s press release from 5-20-20 announces universal testing for correctional and juvenile facilities, the delivery of 20,000 tests per week to nursing homes, and the distribution of tests and swabs.  https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/05/20/governor-hogan-announces-universal-covid-19-testing-for-marylands-correctional-and-juvenile-facilities/ “Local health officials are encouraged to request additional supplies.”


CDC Guidance for Testing for COVID-19

State of Maryland Secretary of Health Letter for Testing


For Drive-thru Testing at the VEIP Site in Columbia

(Testing is still by appointment only  with a doctor's order at the Columbia VEIP site.  Check HERE for a list of all sites, some of which do not require appointments and evaluate for testing onsite.)

If you think you might have the Coronavirus and believe you need to be tested, the following is the process:

  • Contact your health care provider
  • Your healthcare provider will order the testing and enter the information into the CRISP system. 
  • You will receive an email link with a code to schedule an appointment
  • A representative from HCHD will call to confirm the appointment and gather other information.  
  • Patients must bring a form of identification and/or their confirmation number to the VEIP Site along with their insurance card. (If you do not have insurance, you can still be tested at no charge.)
  • Come to the VEIP site at the prescribed time and be tested.

 

Other Testing Locations


Interactive Map of Maryland COVID-19 Testing Sites


First Call Urgent Care Center/Centennial Medical Group
10981 Johns Hopkins Rd, Laurel , MD 20723 
410-730-3399
Hours are 8 am - 9 pm on Monday-Friday for Covid testing.

Walk-Ins accepted.  Insurance company is billed.  If no insurance, public health is billed.  Patient receives NO BILL!

All Care Urgent Care
9396 Baltimore Nat'l Pk, Ellicott City, MD, 21042
410-480-9110 
Monday-Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 4pm, Sunday: 9am - 4pm

Walk-Ins accepted.  Visit the website for more information about testing 

CVS Pharmacy
8197 Westside Blvd, Fulton, MD 20759
301-362-5090
Monday-Friday: 8am - 6pm

Appointment required

Howard County General Hospital
5755 Cedar Ln, Columbia, MD 21044
410-740-7890

Appointment required for drive-thru testing. 
 

Clinician Guidance for Testing

From the CDC Guidance: CDC Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019  

Governor Hogan Maryland Executive Order for Authorizing  COVID-19 Testing by  Licensed Pharmacists

 

New CDC Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html

Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever1and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing). Priorities for testing may include:

High Priority

  • Hospitalized patients with symptoms
  • Healthcare facility workers, workers in congregate living settings, and first responders with symptoms
  • Residents in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, including prisons and shelters, with symptoms

Priority

  • Persons with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, including: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat.
  • Persons without symptoms who are prioritized by health departments or clinicians, for any reason, including but not limited to: public health monitoring, sentinel surveillance, or screening of other asymptomatic individuals according to state and local plans.