How Do I Get a Rapid COVID-19 Test?

Coronavirus COVID-19 medical technician professional doctor hand giving a swab test.
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How do you get a rapid COVID-19 test? We wish we could provide a simple answer. However, with patient volumes and testing at their max throughout Alabama, clinics are busy and there are long wait times. As a result, we’ve developed a system for MainStreet and KidsStreet clinics. It does require a wait, but please know that we’re trying to help you and your neighbors the best we can. Thank you in advance for your patience. We cannot take appointments or provide updates regarding the number of tests available per day, so please read carefully.

How many COVID-19 tests are given daily?

At the beginning of each day, there is a limited number of tests based on the clinic staff and the number of tests available. When the staff arrives at opening hours, the clinic staff will address the line outside the building. There will be numbered intake forms given out each day starting with the first person in line. The number of intake forms is limited and each intake form signifies an available test. Once all the numbered intake forms are given out, asymptomatic patients who do not receive an intake form will be asked to return the next day and get in line before we open.

How early should I get in line?

There tends to be a line at the clinics well before opening, so we recommend arriving before opening to ensure you get a test. You can find opening hours for all locations at www.mainstreetfamilycare.com. We cannot, however, guarantee anyone a “spot” in advance. 

For your safety and the safety of others, we ask that patients refrain from lining up for COVID-19 testing prior to 6 am. Local law enforcement will be patrolling to help enforce this.

Do I need to get in line if I’m visiting for something other than COVID-19?

No. If you are visiting MainStreet Family Care or KidsStreet Urgent Care for something other than COVID-19 testing, please see the front desk staff to sign in. The line and numbered registration forms are for COVID-19 testing patients. Primary care, urgent care (injuries and other illnesses), and occupational medicine patients will be prioritized.

Can I make an appointment for COVID-19 testing?

No. We do not accept appointments for COVID-19 testing. Due to the unbelievable volume of calls, our clinics are unable to answer the phones. Please do not call the clinics directly.

What if I am a business owner and I want my employees tested?

We are happy to set up an account and/or arrange for MainStreet to go on-site to test your employees. Please click here to submit a request for employee testing and one of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible. In your email, please include your company name, address, the total number of employees, and the number of employees you’ll need to be tested immediately.

Does MainStreet still see patients throughout the day even though COVID-19 testing thresholds are met?

Once we have reached our testing threshold for the day, the clinic staff will let patients know that we have reached our daily MAX for COVID-19 testing. If you arrive for COVID testing and we are out of tests, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope you will try to come back tomorrow. However, we will still evaluate and treat any symptomatic patients, and provide primary care and occupational medicine services. Patients who are not coming in for COVID-19 testing may walk-in and register. Please expect a significant wait time. 

What kind of test is this and how quickly do I get my results?

You can find more information on the COVID-19 rapid swab test here. For information on other kinds of COVID-19 testing and how to get your results, please click here.

How much does the COVID-19 rapid swab test cost?

We will submit the cost of the test and your visit to your insurance provider or the HHS Uninsured Patient Program. If for any reason they do not cover it, you will be charged $49. Our cash pay price for the rapid COVID-19 test is $49. We recommend you contact your insurance provider to determine the following:

  • If you will be responsible for the cost of the test and discuss the specifics of your plan and your current deductible balance
  • Ask them about a rapid COVID-19 antigen test with FDA Emergency Use Authorization
  • In addition to the test, some insurance companies expect you to pay for the office visit when you get the test along with other tests that may be run at your visit (such as a flu test).

You can find more information about the costs of testing here.

I’m taking a vacation and must have a negative test within 72 hours of boarding my flight or arriving at my destination. Can you test me now?

Please refer to the instructions above. There are many people that need to be tested for important reasons. We are trying to help all of you the best we can.

I’m bringing in my family of 5 to get tested. We were all recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Please refer to the instructions above. It is safe to anticipate a significant wait time and know that we will help you as soon as we are able. We are trying to help all of you the best we can.

Do I have to wait in line? When can I go to the waiting room?

  • Prior to opening, there should be only one line that goes down the side of the building. Patients should wear a mask and try to maintain a 6 ft. social distance while in line. Staff will distribute the numbered intake forms down this line.
  • If you are a patient that is ill, disabled, elderly, or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please wait in your vehicle once you’ve received an intake form.
  • Clinic staff will take up intake forms in batches of 10, in their numbered order. They will then let the first 10-15 patients in the waiting room. As those patients are seen, more patients will be invited into the waiting room to turn in their numbered intake forms.
  • Once the staff has your intake form, when it is your time to come into the exam room, the front desk staff can call the phone number on your intake form.

What safety precautions are being taken?

  • All patients must wear a mask inside the clinics. In accordance with Gov. Ivey’s statewide mask order, a face covering must be worn in public when in close contact with other people. Specifically, all people must wear a mask when within 6 feet of a person from another household; in an indoor space open to the public; or an outdoor public space where 10 or more people are gathered.
  • Please do not rearrange or modify our waiting rooms from our standard setup.
  • Our clinic staff is continually sanitizing.
  • Social distancing is a personal responsibility. We ask that you respect the space of others around you. If we all respect the space of those around us, everyone will benefit.
  • We ask that everyone remember that we’re in this together. Patience with others waiting–in line and in the clinic–goes a long way. Please be kind and understanding. Our staff is working overtime and we are trying our best to help each and every person that walks into the clinic.

Please do not call the clinics directly. If you have further questions, please email us at info@mainstreetfamilycare.com.