Free COVID-19 tests available in BRHD despite end of test mailing program

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 3:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The U.S. government says it will no longer be sending out free COVID-19 tests. This comes as Congress has not renewed funding to send more out.

People in the Blue Ridge Health District still have ways to get access to free tests.

“There are still a lot of options for free testing in our area, thankfully,” Doctor Amy Mathers with UVA Health said Monday, August 29.

UVA Health, in partnership with Next Molecular Lab, is still offering free PCR tests Monday through Friday.

“They are walk-up, and there can sometimes be a line, but those are the PCR tests,” Dr. Mathers said.

The at-home tests - which in part have been coming from the government - can be bought in stores and are covered by many insurance plans.

“If people want to submit those claims to their insurance company and go through that process, they can,” Dr. Mathers said.

It is a lot easier to get access to an at-home COVID-19 test now, but Dr. Mathers says PCR tests remain the gold standard.

“If you have symptoms and you’re feeling badly, or you had a COVID exposure and start to develop symptoms, and you test negative by antigen, you still really should get a PCR test,” the doctor said.

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