COVID-19 Testing

UTMB Health COVID-19 Testing


From the early days of COVID-19, UTMB Health has been a leader in supporting our communities and partners with the development and delivery of accurate, quality COVID-19 testing. Through an innovative partnership between UTMB researchers and clinicians, we provided some of the earliest testing and have been able to expand testing capacity steadily.

All our testing is being done in designated testing sites and requires an appointment. To schedule your test, follow the instructions below or call (800) 917-8906 or (832) 632-6731. For additional information, review our list of frequently asked questions below.

(Get UTMB Employee Testing information here)

START HERE to Schedule a Covid Test Only Visit: Answer the following question, then choose the time that best fits your schedule!

If the patient (especially if under age 17) has symptoms of COVID-19, it is best they are evaluated by a provider in addition to getting a covid test. There may be other conditions contributing to their symptoms for which point of care testing and treatment is also available.

Are you still wishing to schedule a Covid Test Only visit?

  
  • This appointment is for COVID testing ONLY. No COVID vaccines are available at UTMB urgent care locations at this time.
    Please select a time for your COVID-19 TEST ONLY visit.

    IMPORTANT:
    · All Urgent Care clinics serve adults and children.
    · Pediatric and adult time slots IN GALVESTON are separate. Be sure to read the RED title above the available times to choose the correct type of provider. Any adults scheduled into pediatric slots may need rescheduling.
    · Always confirm the correct clinic location by double-checking the appointment confirmation page.

    YES 2 DIV
  • This appointment is for COVID-19 related physician visit ONLY. No COVID vaccines are available at UTMB urgent care locations at this time.
    Please select a time for your COVID-19 related physician visit.

    IMPORTANT:
    · All Urgent Care clinics serve adults and children.
    · Pediatric and adult time slots IN GALVESTON are separate. Be sure to read the RED title above the available times to choose the correct type of provider. Any adults scheduled into pediatric slots may need rescheduling.
    · Always confirm the correct clinic location by double-checking the appointment confirmation page.

    YES 2 DIV

FAQs

FAQs

  • How do I get a COVID test?

    I have symptoms or am worried that I might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19: You can schedule an appointment online or call the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 or (832) 632-6731 to schedule an appointment for a test. 

    I don’t have symptoms but need a test for work or an upcoming procedure: You can schedule an appointment online or call the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 or (832) 632-6731 to schedule an appointment for a test. 

     

    Last modified on 1/7/2021

  • Who should get a COVID test?

    UTMB offers tests to people showing symptoms and those who show no symptoms (symptomatic and asymptomatic). While anyone can be tested, the primary people who would benefit from testing are those who are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, who have been exposed to other people who have tested positive, who are at higher risk because of other health issues, or whose jobs/roles put them at risk or in contact with many people.

    Last modified on 7/8/2020

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    COVID-19 symptoms vary by person (and some individuals who test positive show no symptoms), but the most common symptoms are:

    • Fever/Chills
    • Cough/Congestion/Runny nose
    • Difficulty breathing/Shortness of breath
    • Headache
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of smell or taste
    • Nausea/Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Pink eye with discharge

    Last modified on 10/21/2020

  • What is the average time for symptoms to show once I have been exposed?

    People with COVID-19 have experienced a wide range of symptoms– ranging from mild/barely detectable discomfort to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

    Last modified on 7/8/2020

  • Can I get a test and care at the same time?

    Yes, if you are experiencing symptoms, you can schedule an appointment to get a test and be seen by a provider and receive care for your symptoms at the same time. Please mention this when you are making your appointment.

    You can also choose to only get a test (viral or antibody) and not get any care.

    Last modified on 7/8/2020

  • If I’ve been exposed, how long should I wait to get tested if I don’t have any symptoms?

    You should be tested 3-4 days after being exposed to someone who has tested positive. This will give the virus time to get to detectable levels and reduces the risk of a false negative test result. 

    Last modified on 7/8/2020

  • Can I get a COVID test in my regular clinic/from my regular provider? How about a COVID vaccine?

    UTMB has reopened many of our clinics to see both sick and well patients, with specific measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID exposure. COVID tests and vaccines are available in most of our primary care clinics. COVID testing is also available in our Urgent Care Clinics

  • How/When do I get my COVID test results?

    Test results are available within 24 to 72 hours, depending on the type of test and the volume of tests being processed on a given day. Your results will be available online if you are a user of UTMB’s MyChart electronic health record. (Learn more about MyChart or sign up).

    If your test results are negative, your results with be sent to you via text message (please ensure your phone number is correct in our system).

    If your results are positive, you will be called with your test results by someone who can answer questions you may have. 

    Last modified on 10/21/2020

  • What do my COVID-19 test results mean?

    The most commonly encountered COVID-19 viral test results, with their interpretation, are explained online. You will also be provided a hand out that also explains what the test results mean.

    Last modified on 10/21/2020

COVID-19 General FAQs

FAQs

  • What is COVID-19

    Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

    While COVID-19 causes only mild illness in some infected individuals, it may cause serious lower respiratory infection leading to hospitalization and even death.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this factsheet highlighting important information you should know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-10).

    Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • How do I help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if I am sick?
    • Stay home unless you need medical care
    • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
    • Call ahead before visiting a clinic
    • Wear a mask
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Clean your hands often
    • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
    • Monitor your symptoms

    Last modified on 3/10/2020

  • Can I get tested for the coronavirus? What’s the process?

    Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, can schedule online or contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.


    • Patients should follow recommendations for testing, self-isolation and management of symptoms.
    • Any patient experiencing a worsening of symptoms—particularly shortness of breath—a few days after first becoming ill should contact the Access Center IMMEDIATELY. To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
    • To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
    • You may also wish to check with your local county health officials for testing available through local government. In Galveston County, Health District testing information is online.

    Please note: Our process and procedures may be updated as the COVID-19 situation develops in our region.

    Last modified on 10/16/2020

  • Can COVID-19 spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects?

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
    • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
    • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    Last modified on 3/5/2020

  • If someone has minor symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, can they be isolated at home instead of a hospital?

    At this time, patients testing positive for COVID-19 who have mild symptoms, are not over age 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition are advised to isolate at home. If a patient with COVID-19 is concerned, begins to experience shortness of breath, starts feeling worse a week or so into the illness, is over age 60 or has an underlying medical condition, they are strongly encouraged to call their doctor or the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

    Last modified on 3/16/2020