Where Can I Get a Flu Test Near Me? | All Locations

Where can I get a flu test? Find flu testing clinics, rapid flu test sites, and influenza screening locations near you with our comprehensive guide.

With the cold and flu season upon us, finding where to get a flu test is crucial. Knowing your options is key, especially if you have symptoms or have been near someone with the flu. This guide will show you where to get tested for the flu all across the U.S.

There are several tests for flu, each serving a different need. Fast point-of-care tests, PCR lab tests, and even tests you can do at home are available.1 These include rapid flu tests and other methods that give results quickly.1 Now, some places test for both flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which is very helpful.

Thankfully, many places offer flu testing. Health centers, urgent cares, and pharmacies do this with no need for an appointment.2 In Dallas, for example, you can choose from 20 spots that do flu tests right away. These include top-rated urgent cares like NextCare, CityDoc, and Little Spurs.

You’re not limited to just health facilities for flu testing. You can also do tests at home.3 These home test kits check for flu and COVID-19 in about 15 minutes. This is a good option if you can’t or don’t want to go out.

Getting tested early is very important.1 Flu symptoms can show up fast, and acting within 48 hours is best. It can cut the sickness short. Also, some groups need more care, like the elderly or those with weak immune systems.

Looking into your flu testing choices is a great start for staying healthy. Remember, quick testing and proper care are key steps. They help you deal with the flu and avoid its worst effects.

Key Takeaways

  • Multiple flu testing options exist, from quick tests to lab tests to home kits.
  • You can find flu tests at various places, from health centers to pharmacies to your own home.
  • For many, fast testing and care are essential, especially if you’re at high risk.
  • More tests that check for both flu and COVID-19 are now out there.
  • If you’re uninsured, you might get free flu testing, based on certain rules.

Flu Testing Now Available at State’s COVID-19 Test Sites

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has noticed more people getting sick with the flu and other illnesses. To help more people get tested, they’re now offering flu tests for free at COVID-19 testing sites.4 This change makes it easier for people to check for both the flu and COVID-19 in their nearby areas.

Rise in Respiratory Illnesses

There are more cases of respiratory sicknesses in the state. This made the CDPH add flu tests to some COVID-19 test sites. By doing this, they hope to track and deal with both viruses better.

Expansion of No-Cost Testing Program

Initially, the no-cost testing only covered COVID-19. But now, it also includes flu tests thanks to the CDPH’s efforts.4 This means anyone can get checked for the flu and COVID-19 without it costing them anything.4

Importance of Vaccination and Testing

State health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. It helps lower the chances of getting very sick. They also want people to test for these illnesses quickly if they feel sick. Early action can make a big difference.3

Rapid Flu and COVID-19 Testing Options

During the flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic, getting tested is important. People can choose from various fast testing methods to check for these illnesses.3 Getting quick results helps with early diagnosis and getting the right treatment. The main rapid tests are quick on-site tests and lab-based tests.

On-Site Rapid Antigen Tests

Quick antigen tests can be bought starting at $19.99. They give results in just 30 minutes. This is good for anyone three years old and up.3 These tests look for specific virus proteins. They quickly show if someone is currently sick.

Laboratory PCR Tests

For the most detailed results, PCR tests are the way to go.3 They take about 48 hours for results. If someone does not have health insurance, they might get these tests for free. Otherwise, the cost can be up to $128.99 for COVID-19 or up to $164.99 for both COVID-19 and flu tests. PCR is more accurate and is for everyone three years old and above.

Each type of test has its own benefits. Understanding these differences helps people choose the best test for their needs. Rapid tests are quick while PCR tests give detailed results. This information is crucial for fast and effective treatment.

At-Home Flu Testing Kits

Now, you can easily get at-home flu testing kits for your health needs. They offer different tests, like quick antigen self-tests and home collection kits sent to labs.5

Rapid Antigen Self-Tests

Nobody likes waiting for test results, right? With rapid antigen self-tests, you don’t have to. Tests like the Lucira flu test show results in just 30 minutes. This quick info helps start treatment early.6

Home Collection Kits with Lab Processing

There’s another way for flu testing at home. You use home collection kits, then send them to labs. For example, the Pixel by Labcorp® kit checks for COVID-19, flu, and RSV. It’s easy to use and tests by professionals.67

These testing kits are handy for keeping an eye on your lung health. They allow for early spotting and treating any flu. Plus, they help stop sickness from spreading.5

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At-home flu testing

Flu Testing at Retail Pharmacies

Retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are now offering flu testing. You can just walk in for a test.8 Many places are providing results in only 30 minutes.9 Walgreens is going further by combining COVID-19 and flu tests, giving you both sets of results at once for $19.99.9

Walk-In Appointments

Getting tested for the flu is easy with walk-in services. This is super handy for those who can’t plan ahead.8 Walgreens will have quick flu tests ready at over 5,000 of its stores. So, you can pop in whenever it suits you.8

Rapid Flu Tests

Retail pharmacies have quick tests to check if you have the flu.3 They can give you results in just 15 minutes. Or, you might choose the ID NOW™ test, which takes only an hour.3 Quick detection means you can start the right treatment fast or prevent the illness from spreading.8 Walgreens uses advanced tests from Abbott for flu and COVID-19 in their stores.8

Urgent Care Centers for Flu Testing

Urgent care centers have become a top choice for flu testing. They are convenient and easy to get to. These centers often have hours that fit everyone’s schedule. Plus, they don’t need an appointment for you to walk in and get tested.10

Flexible Hours and Walk-Ins

Urgent care is open at times that are not found in regular doctors’ offices. They can help late into the evening and even on weekends. You can just walk in, especially if you think you might have the flu. They test you quickly and start your care soon after.10

Rapid Molecular Assays

Urgent care centers also use a special type of test, rapid molecular assays. These tests can spot the flu virus fast. You usually know your results in about an hour.

Reverse Transcription PCR Tests

For the best and most complete testing, they might do a reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). This test looks for both the flu and COVID-19. It gives a detailed look at what’s making you sick. You get the results in a couple of days.

With lots of ways to test for the flu, urgent care centers help people get answers fast. This helps keep us all healthy. They check for the flu in different ways, including fast tests and more detailed tests.10

where can i get a flu test

If you feel like you have the flu, see your doctor for a flu test. They not only test for the flu but also give you care and treatment advice if you’re sick.

Healthcare Provider’s Office

Your doctor or a local clinic can do flu tests. They use different tests, like quick ones or lab tests, to find out if you have the flu.11

Follow-Up Care and Treatment Options

If the test shows you have the flu, the doctor might give you antiviral drugs. These work best if you start taking them within two days of feeling sick. So, it’s a good idea to get tested quickly.

The healthcare provider will also help you manage symptoms and avoid spreading the flu. They’ll talk to you about the flu shot to lessen your chances of getting sick in the future.

Going for a flu test not only helps with your immediate care but also with learning how to recover well.

COVID-19 and Flu Testing Locations

States are now letting people get COVID-19 and flu tests for free in the same place.3 This makes it easy for anyone to check if they have either.8

Finding Test Sites Near You

It’s simple to find a COVID-19 and flu testing spot close by. Just hop online to the Walgreens site or use their app.8 You can then see all the stores offering tests. Pick the one that fits your location and time best.

Online Scheduling and Walk-In Options

You can book your test ahead of time online. But, if you need to go soon, many places welcome walk-ins.8 This means you can get tested right away without needing to plan. It helps to find problems early and get the right care fast.

Flu Symptoms and Testing Timelines

It’s important to know when and how flu testing works best. The third source says the best time to test is within the first 3-4 days of feeling sick.12

When to Get Tested After Exposure

Get tested for the flu as soon as symptoms show, if possible in the first 48 hours. This early testing helps with the right treatment.13 The virus is easier to detect in the beginning, so fast testing matters a lot.

Accuracy of Flu Tests

Tests that show results quickly, like RIDTs, catch the virus half to four-fifths of the time.13 But, rapid molecular tests catch it more often, 9 out of 10 times.13 Plus, these tests are quick, giving results in under half an hour.

The flu shot helps, but doesn’t ensure you won’t get the flu.12 Also, flu symptoms might not look the same in young children or older adults.12

RIDTs can be very helpful, but they may be wrong sometimes, showing a problem when there isn’t one.14 Things like how sick someone looks, how common the flu is around them, and when they were tested can affect the result.14

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Flu Treatment and Medications

If someone is diagnosed with the flu, certain antiviral drugs can ease their symptoms and make the sickness shorter. Medications like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Baloxavir (Xofluza), and Zanamivir (Relenza) are often given for flu treatment.15 These medicines might make the flu last a day less. They can also lower the risk of severe problems.15

Antivirals for Flu Treatment

15 But, Zanamivir is not for people with some breathing issues, such as asthma or lung disease.15 In hospitals, patients might get Peramivir (Rapivab) through an IV for their flu.15 If these drugs cause upset stomach, eating food with them can help ease that.15

Importance of Early Treatment

Getting treatment early is vital. Antiviral meds are most effective if taken within 48 hours of feeling sick. Acting fast can lessen how bad the flu gets and shorten how long it lasts. It’s important for people to get tested and medicated quickly.

COVID-19 and Flu Testing for Uninsured Patients

If you don’t have insurance, getting tested for COVID-19 and the flu for free is important. Latest data shows that if you don’t have insurance, you might get testing for free. This is if you show symptoms or are near someone who tested positive.3 But, if you have insurance, you might need to pay up to $164.99 for both tests.3

Federal Eligibility Criteria

The government set up programs for people without insurance to get tested for COVID-19 and the flu without costs. They consider if you have symptoms, were close to someone who’s tested positive, or are part of certain healthcare networks.16

No-Cost Testing Options

If you’re uninsured, you have options for free COVID-19 and flu testing. Places like Walgreens have tests starting at $44.99. Some states also offer free flu tests for kids 2 and up in stores, and virtual visits for adults.3 The CDC’s ICATT program provides free COVID-19 testing at over 19,000 sites nationwide.4

Combination Tests for COVID-19, Flu, and RSV

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a big worry. People are also worried about a big jump in flu and RSV cases happening at the same time.17 It’s hard to tell these sicknesses apart because they cause similar symptoms.17 Now, doctors are using tests that can check for several illnesses at once from just one test.

Multiplex Tests at Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care centers are a quick and easy place to get tested for these illnesses. These centers now have tests that check for COVID-19, flu, and RSV all at once. The tests are very good at finding the virus that’s causing the sickness. They use a method called RT-PCR.17

At-Home Combination Tests

Testing kits for home are also now an option.3 With these kits, a person takes a sample and sends it to a lab. The lab then checks for COVID-19, flu, and RSV.3 It can help figure out what’s making someone sick at home. This way, they can know if they need to see a doctor.

Combination tests for COVID-19, flu, and RSV are working hard to help diagnose these sicknesses better.17 They give doctors clearer information to choose the best treatment. This can help patients get better and make it easier to handle outbreaks of these illnesses.17

Testing for High-Risk Groups

With flu season coming, high-risk people need to pay attention to flu signs. This includes older folks, those with weak immune systems, and pregnant women.3 If you’re in a high-risk group and feel sick or know you’ve been near the virus, go get tested for the flu.

Older Adults

Folks 65 and older are more likely to get very sick from the flu.3 Getting tested early is key. It helps catch the flu fast and start the right treatment. This can stop bad health problems and make you feel better.

Immunocompromised Individuals

Staying on top of flu testing is extra important for those with weak immune systems. This might be due to cancer treatments, having an organ transplant, or certain long-term health issues. The test can help doctors treat the flu early. This keeps things from getting too scary and helps everyone stay safe.

Pregnant Persons

Pregnant women can get very sick from the flu. This is not good for the mom or the baby. If you’re pregnant and think you have the flu, don’t wait. Get tested and listen to what your healthcare team says. It’s all about keeping both mom and baby healthy.

To keep safe during the flu season, these high-risk groups should focus on flu testing. Listen to what the doctors suggest.3

Prevention and Good Health Habits

Flu season is here, making prevention key. One of the best steps is to get a flu shot every year.18 For those over 65, a stronger shot exists, offering more protection. It’s good to know that the flu shot is often free with insurance, making it easy to get for many.19

Flu Vaccination

Everyone aged 6 months to 4 years, 50 and older, and those with health issues should get the flu shot, says the CDC.18 It greatly lowers flu risks and helps avoid severe illness. Plus, it protects your community by reducing the virus’s spread.

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Everyday Preventive Actions

Aside from vaccination, daily actions can prevent flu spread.20 This includes, among other things, not going out when you’re sick, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your face.20 Using masks and keeping your living space clean can also help a lot.20

Practicing Good Health Habits

Maintaining your health is vital in fighting off the flu.20 This means getting plenty of sleep, being active, and eating well.19 It also helps to manage stress and drink enough water. These steps can make flu symptoms less severe if you do get sick.19

Being proactive in flu prevention is important for yourself and your community. Use a mix of vaccination, daily cleanliness, and healthy living to stay well. Remember, these tools work best when used together.

Conclusion

There are many ways to get tested for the flu. You can go to healthcare providers, urgent care centers, or pharmacies. You can even test yourself at home with special kits. These options make it easy for anyone to get tested and get help quickly.21

For some people, finding out if they have the flu early is very important. This includes kids, older people, pregnant women, and those with health conditions. Quick testing means they can start medicine fast. This can help make their symptoms better and stop the flu from getting worse.

Some jobs and schools also ask for proof of the flu before you come back. So, getting tested is a key step.22

This article has shown why it’s crucial to have easy and reliable testing for the flu. Rapid tests and good medicine are very helpful. They keep us, and our communities, safe from the flu’s bad effects. Knowing about testing and getting tested when we need to can make a big difference. It helps prevent the spread of the flu.23

FAQ

Where can I get a flu test near me?

You can find flu tests at many places. This includes places like retail pharmacies or walk-in urgent care centers. You might also get tested at your doctor’s office. Some state COVID-19 testing sites offer flu tests too.

What types of flu testing options are available?

Several flu tests are available. They range from quick on-site tests to more detailed lab tests. There are also at-home test kits. You can use them yourself or send a sample to a lab for processing.

Can I get a flu test at a retail pharmacy?

Yes, many pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS provide flu tests. You can walk in for a test. They often offer fast results with rapid tests.

Can I get a flu test at an urgent care center?

Yes, urgent care centers do offer flu tests. They have flexible hours and you can just walk in. You might get a rapid test or a more thorough lab test.

Can I get a flu test at my healthcare provider’s office?

Yes, your doctor can also test you for the flu. They can test and, if needed, treat you. This option is good for follow-up care too.

Are there any COVID-19 testing sites that also offer flu testing?

Yes, some COVID-19 sites now test for the flu as well. They aim to make testing easy for both illnesses. This means you can get tested for the flu and COVID-19 at the same place.

When is the best time to get tested for the flu after potential exposure?

You should test for the flu soon after you notice symptoms. It’s best to do this within 48 hours. This is because flu medicine works best early on.

Are there any medications available to treat the flu?

Indeed, there are antiviral medicines for the flu. Medicines like Tamiflu and Xofluza can make you feel better. Taking them early, within 48 hours of symptoms, is key.

Can uninsured patients access free COVID-19 and flu testing?

Yes, places like Walgreens do offer free testing for the flu and COVID-19. This is for those without insurance, who meet the right criteria. It’s usually for those who might be sick or were near someone who tested positive.

Are there any combination tests that can detect COVID-19, the flu, and RSV?

Some places now offer tests that look for multiple illnesses at once. You can find this at urgent care centers or through at-home kits. They check for COVID-19, the flu, and RSV in one test.

Are certain groups at higher risk for complications from the flu?

Certain people are more at risk from the flu, like the elderly or those with weak immune systems. Pregnant women are also more likely to have problems. They should get tested quickly and get any needed treatment.

How can I prevent the flu?

To avoid the flu, get a flu shot every year. Stay away from people who are sick. Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.Wash your hands often and keep them away from your face. Try to sleep enough, eat well, and stay active. These healthy habits lower your chances of getting sick.

Source Links

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  11. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/testing.htm
  12. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/consider-influenza-testing.htm
  13. https://www.bannerhealth.com/staying-well/health-and-wellness/wellness/flu/when-to-seek-care/diagnosis
  14. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/clinician_guidance_ridt.htm
  15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351725
  16. https://covid19.nih.gov/news-and-stories/home-test-treat-program-expands-nationwide
  17. https://www.questdiagnostics.com/healthcare-professionals/about-our-tests/infectious-diseases/covid-19/covid-19–flu–and-rsv-cotests
  18. https://www.bouldermedicalcenter.com/influenza-diagnosing-and-testing/
  19. https://tuftshealthplan.com/employer/work-well,-live-well/members/make-flu-prevention-a-top-priority-this-fall
  20. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm
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  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6425177/