Get Tested

Find a COVID-19 testing site available near you. Learn about different types of COVID-19 testing, getting your test results, and about being COVID-19 positive.

Health Department Testing

At-Home Rapid Test Kits

CDC No-Cost COVID-19 Testing Search





Questions? Contact our COVID-19 Hotline.

If you have a question about COVID-19, please call our COVID-19 Hotline, available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Health Department Testing

AZOVA Saliva PCR COVID-19 Test

The Howard County Health Department provides free PCR testing for COVID-19 using the FDA-authorized Azova saliva test kit, which is more comfortable than traditional nasal swab. Self-collection testing is administered on-site or take home test kits are available for testing on your schedule. Test results are available in 2 - 4 days. These tests may be used for routine employment testing, pre-travel testing, or school quarantine/isolation. Check with your work, school, or travel destination for more information about tests acceptable for these uses. Email and Internet access are required to receive test results and access Azova testing portal. Please note: only one test will be provided for each individual with an appointment.

Type of Test: PCR Saliva test 

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:00pm (Except State Holidays)

Location: Back of HCHD building  

How it works:  

  • Register online (call 410-313-6284 to be registered by phone if needed)  
  • Ring doorbell at HCHD back door 
  • Self-test onsite or at home 
  • Return test via drop box in the vestibule or a UPS location 

Testing Location

Date & Time


Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd., Columbia, MD 21045

Back of the building



(Except State Holidays)

Click here to register

How to receive test results: 

  • Call 1-844-692-9682 (1-844-MY-AZOVA) for results  
  • Register an account with Azova to receive text or email notifications with test results 
  • All positive cases will be called and informed of their results.   

Email: [email protected]

Azova Test Kit Tutorial Video

What to Expect After Completing COVID-19 Testing: Click here

If you have questions about your test or do not have your results after 4 days, please direct your inquiries to AZOVA Health at: 1-844-692-9682 (1-844-MY-AZOVA)

At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits

*The Health Department rapid test mailing program has ended. Free tests will still be provided to Howard County Library System Branches and are widely available at many County retailers for purchase. This is a walk-in only service, no reservations. Please contact library branch directly to confirm current supply.

The Federal Government free rapid COVID test mailing program has ended on 5/31/23.

Tests may be purchased online from many national retailers. 

CDC Self-Testing Resources


Testing Information
Alternative Testing Options

PCR Testing

  • The CDC provides a search tool to locate no-cost COVID-19 testing.
  • FirstCall Urgent Care operates a remote testing site at St. John Baptist Church in Columbia.
  • Many pharmacies, medical providers and urgent care centers offer PCR COVID-19 testing services. Individuals should contact their desired location directly for details about testing availability.

Rapid Antigen Testing

  • At-home rapid tests may be requested for free from the Federal Government here
  • Rapid tests are available for purchase at many local retailers or online. Individuals should contact their retailer of choice for more information about availability and cost.


When to get tested

Key times to get tested:

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.
  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.
  • If you are in certain high-risk settings, you may need to test as part of a screening testing program.
  • Consider testing before contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19, especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 Community Level.

For guidance on using tests to determine which mitigations are recommended as you recover from COVID-19, go to Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

Cost and Insurance Accepted

For questions regarding testing cost and accepted insurance, please contact the testing site directly.

If You Test Positive

Please see the link below for guidance on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.

State of MD COVID-19 FAQs

See below for Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 testing.

Check Your Rapid Test Expiration Date

If you received a rapid take-home test kit from the Howard County Health Department and have not used it yet, you can verify the expiration date on the manufacturer website below. The FDA has authorized the extension of some expiration dates printed on rapid test kit boxes.





En Espanol

Para obtener información sobre las pruebas de COVID-19, haga clic en el enlace a continuación.

Para preguntas sobre coronavirus, llámenos a 410-313-6284.


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