FAQs About Clinics, COVID-19 Testing, And Getting Treatment

What should you do if you think you have COVID-19? You have a cough, fever, sore throat, or nasal congestion. Before you assume that your symptoms are just signs of a cold or allergies, take a look at what you need to know about COVID-19 testing, treatment, and the ways a walk-in clinic can help.

Do All Health Care Clinics Offer COVID-19 Testing Services?

No, not all of these medical or physician's clinics provide COVID-19 testing. This means you will need to call the clinic or visit the provider's website before you go to your same-day appointment. If the clinic doesn't offer testing, you will need to contact your healthcare provider or a COVID-19 testing center.

What Is A COVID-19 Testing Center?

These clinics typically only offer COVID-19 testing. A testing center differs from a doctor's office or a medical care clinic. Instead of a full range of diagnostic options, this type of center focuses on COVID-19. They may provide patients with COVID-19 rapid testing services—also known as antigen testing. As the name implies, rapid tests can give you quick results. The specific time it takes to get these results back depends on how busy the testing center is and the type of test the provider uses. 

Do COVID-19 Testing Services Also Include Treatment?

The answer to this question depends on the clinic and the options the provider offers. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral treatments and monoclonal antibodies are two ways to help reduce the risks of a serious illness. But these treatments aren't available everywhere. If the clinic doesn't provide these options, they could refer you to a healthcare center that does. 

Patients who have trouble breathing, constant pain/pressure in the chest area, pale/blue/gray skin, nail beds, or lips, confusion, or any other concerning symptom should seek emergency medical attention right away, according to the CDC. An emergency medical issue requires care from a hospital—and not a walk-in clinic. 

What Happens If Your COVID-19 Test Is Negative?

Whether the clinic provides COVID-19 tests or you go somewhere else, you may get a negative result. If you don't have COVID-19, but do have respiratory or other symptoms, you may still need to see a medical practitioner. You could need another type of test, such as for the flu or a strep swab. Along with other types of tests, the doctor or clinician at an urgent care center can prescribe medications (if needed) and recommend ways to treat your symptoms at home.