COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is widely available now. Indications for testing include symptoms that may be COVID-19, post-exposure testing, and follow-up testing after COVID-19 infection. Please use the COVID-19 report form found at page COVID-19 Isolation/Quarantine Protocols to receive updated guidance based on your situation. 

What Type of Test Should You Get?

When You Have Symptoms:

  • PCR is the most sensitive test (most likely to detect the virus if present) although results typically take 24-48 hours. This test needs to run at a laboratory and is usually obtained at a professional testing site or clinical practice, although there are also now home collection kits that can be sent for processing.
  • Rapid antigen testing is also useful. This includes home test kits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that it may take three tests 48 hours apart to rule out COVID-19. Refer to this information from the FDA for details.

After You've Been Exposed to COVID-19:

  • PCR is the best choice
    • Results typically take 24-48 hours.
    • Follow the recommended schedule based on exposure situation.
  • Rapid antigen testing may also be used if PCR is not easily available.
    • Follow the recommended schedule for serial testing based on exposure situation
    • Home rapid antigen testing kits are acceptable.

Testing After COVID-positive Test:

  • Rapid antigen tests are the best choice.
    • Two negative tests at least 24 hours apart are good indication of recovery.
    • Home antigen testing kits are acceptable.
  • PCR testing may be used but is not the best choice.
    • Results typically take 24-48 hours.
    • Positive may persist long after you have recovered and does not mean you are still able to infect others.
    • Negative PCR test after COVID-19 infection is a good indication of recovery.
COVID-19 Testing Locations

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has a website, that allows you to search for the closest testing site near you.

The following sites are located near UMB:

Nomi Health is offering both rapid antigen and PCR tests at a mobile clinic located at 419 W. Baltimore Street. Walk-ins are accepted during limited hours. To avoid a long wait, you may schedule a test on their appointment website.
Baltimore City Health Department also lists a weekly schedule of vaccination and testing sites here.
Appointments are offered at the University of Maryland (UM) Immediate Care through this scheduling application. However, the best option for faculty, staff, and students wanting to schedule an appointment for an on-campus COVID-19 diagnostic test or a flu shot is to call UM Immediate Care directly at 667-214-1899.
Students and employees living outside of Maryland should visit their state health department’s website for information on COVID-19 testing available in their state. A link to each state’s health department can be found here.
COVID-19 Testing Costs

There is free COVID-19 testing offered in the state of Maryland. With Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance, there are no co-pays for a COVID-19 test.

Private insurance providers are now covering the cost of up to 8 over-the-counter rapid antigen tests per month, per individual.

Latest Updates

Updated COVID-19 Isolation/Quarantine Protocols

Posted October 10, 2022

I am sharing some recent updates to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Protocols for members of our community who do not provide patient care. Read more.

COVID-19 Isolation/Quarantine Protocols

Updated October 07, 2022

In the event of COVID-19 illness or exposure, report your case and check quarantine guidance here. Read more.

Letter: Welcome UMB Incoming Students for Fall 2022

Posted July 21, 2022

COVID-19 vaccine — Primary series is required for any on-campus student [1] (2 doses of Moderna/Pfizer and 1 dose of Janssen). Booster dose recommended. Vaccine dates and lot numbers required for documentation verification. Read more.