Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing

Who Needs to Be Tested and Why?

Thumbnail of COVID-19 Testing Infographic

The coronavirus situation continues to change quickly. Our main goal is to reduce spread of the virus and ensure care for those with severe symptoms. We need to conserve limited and precious resources, including tests and protective equipment like N-95 masks.

As most patients with coronavirus have mild to moderate symptoms, it is not necessary or possible for everyone to be tested for coronavirus. Visiting a doctor’s office, urgent care, or a Respiratory Diagnostic Center (RDC) before you have been screened could increase your risk of exposure. Help us save our resources for people who are most likely to get very sick from coronavirus (read more about those at risk).

We will continue to update our coronavirus (COVID-19) screening processes. We are relying on guidance from experts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and UNC Health Infectious Disease specialists.

Can I get tested at a Respiratory Diagnostic Center?

Respiratory Diagnostic Centers (RDCs) are locations for assessment of respiratory symptoms, including those that may be associated with coronavirus. Your UNC Health physician must refer you to an RDC. Please do not come to an RDC without an appointment. Visiting an RDC does not guarantee you will be tested.

For more information about testing, please contact your primary care provider or the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment.

If You Have Symptoms of Coronavirus

If you are concerned you have been exposed or have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), click the Coronavirus Help tab on the bottom of the page. This will bring up our coronavirus symptom checker that will lead you through some questions to determine if you need medical follow-up. You can also call your primary care provider. Do not go to your doctor’s office or an urgent care without first determining if further medical screening is necessary.

If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment.

COVID-19 Test Pricing

The out-of-pocket cost for testing varies:

  • If you have health insurance you will likely pay nothing, as most insurance companies are fully covering the cost of testing
  • If you do not have insurance, UNC Health currently participates in a program that may be able to assist with Covid-19 related care. Please contact our Customer Service Call Center toll free at (800) 594-8624 or local at (984) 974-2222 for more information on this program.

UNC Health testing costs, before insurance or discounts are applied:

$100 - Caldwell UNC Health, Chatham Hospital, UNC Lenoir Health Care, UNC Medical Center, UNC REX Healthcare, Johnston Health, Nash UNC Health Care, Pardee UNC Health Care and Wayne UNC Health Care

Doctor visits and other services outside of the test, including urgent care and emergency room visits, are billed separately the same as any other medical services at UNC Health.