Philly’s coronavirus response

New Center City walk-up site: How to get tested for coronavirus in Philly

In most cases, you need a medical provider’s referral to get a test.

Drive-through test sites like this one in Delaware are popping up around the Philly region

Drive-through test sites like this one in Delaware are popping up around the Philly region

Butch Comegys / for WHYY
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Originally published Mar. 18; updated Apr. 1

Although there are still not enough supplies or protective equipment for everyone to get tested, coronavirus testing is ramping up in the Philly region.

So who can get tested, and where can you go?

City officials announced on Wednesday a new walk-up testing site in Center City — though they wouldn’t say where for fear of overloading capacity. It’s open by appointment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but only to health care workers and people over 50  with symptoms of coronavirus. Call 267-491-5870 to find out more.

The city is also operating a drive-through testing site at the South Philly sports complex. If you’re not a healthcare worker — including behavioral health workers — or over 50 years old and experiencing symptoms, you’ll likely be turned away. It’ll be open from 2 to 6 p.m. each day, unless rain makes it hard to operate.

Neither the Citizens Bank Park or the Center City site require a doctor’s recommendation, but you should bring your driver’s license and insurance card if you have them.

At about 20 other locations in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs run by medical providers, you can get tested if you’re not a health care worker or first responder. For these, you do need a referral — usually from a doctor within the health system where you want to get tested.

Test sites in Philly, and how to access

Steps to get tested at a hospital-run site

Here are the steps you need to take in order to get tested at any medical provider site:

  1. First, you should have experienced actual symptoms. Even though you can carry the disease without showing signs, if you get tested while you’re asymptomatic, it might be too early to detect and you could get a false negative.
  2. If you indeed have a fever, dry cough, or are experiencing shortness of breath, then you need to call your regular healthcare provider. They’ll be the ones who can recommend you get tested at one of the sites. Qualifications are different at each — for example, the Jefferson sites reportedly require a referral from a Jefferson doc.
  3. At that point, you can get a test at no cost, according to the health commissioner. No insurance is necessary, and no deductible or copay will be required.

 

Want some more? Explore other Philly’s coronavirus response stories.

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