COVID-19 Testing & Treatment
It's essential for Prince George's County residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested, even after being vaccinated or recently contracting the virus.With the impact of the virus continuing to be felt across Maryland, getting tested is paramount in helping keep our communities healthy and safe.
The CDC recommends the following people get tested for COVID-19:
- Those who are notified of close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
- Those who are working in health care and congregant settings.
- Those who will have contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19.
The Prince George’s County Health Department offers FREE COVID-19 testing services at its permanent clinics and supports testing at community sites across the County. There will be no questions about immigration status at any of our testing sites. If you have health insurance, you must present your insurance card.
Two types of tests are commonly available: PCR-based tests are most often performed in a laboratory. They are typically the most reliable tests for people with or without symptoms. These tests detect viral genetic material, which may stay in your body for up to 90 days after you test positive. Therefore, you should not use a PCR test if you have tested positive in the last 90 days. Antigen tests are rapid tests that produce results in 15-30 minutes. A single negative antigen test result does not rule out infection. A negative antigen test should be repeated at least 48 hours apart (known as serial testing) to best detect infection.
At-home rapid tests are antigen tests that can be bought at pharmacies and retail outlets, or you can contact your local health department to find out where to receive a free test kit in your area while supplies last. At-home tests are antigen tests that can be taken anywhere without going to a specific testing site. Follow FDA and manufacturer's instructions, including the number of times you may need to test.
For more information about testing, visit COVID-19 Testing: What you need to know.
Suppose you have COVID-19 and are at risk for severe COVID illness. In that case, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. A healthcare provider prescribes medications to treat COVID-19 that patients should start soon after diagnosis to be effective.
Older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with age) and people with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, or a weakened immune system, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Even if your symptoms are mild, anyone with risk factors should contact their health provider immediately to see if they are eligible for oral antiviral medications. A healthcare provider will help decide which treatment, if any, is right for you.
COVID-19 treatments are available for positive individuals at multiple locations in Prince George’s County through the federal Test to Treat program. Find a nearby participating site where rapid tests are administered, and if positive, a prescription for COVID-19 treatments can be filled on the spot. NOTE: There may be a charge associated with T2T services.
A call center is also available at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8:00 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week.