Residents that want to be tested should call (813) 272-5900. Insurance is not required. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Health experts believe the COVID-19 virus spreads from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (see CDC guidelines). When an infected person coughs or sneezes, respiratory droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It may also spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, so it is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis or more often depending on circumstances.
COVID-19 Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
Hillsborough County has significantly expanded its point-in-time testing for COVID-19 coronavirus. Anyone who wants to be tested can pre-register to get tested for free at community sites. You do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms to be tested.
Residents who want to be tested should call (813) 272-5900. Insurance is not required. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Testing will take place at one of the County's testing sites. However, testing will not proceed without an appointment.
|Location||Appointment Required||Drive-Thru Testing||Walk-Up Testing|
|Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa||
|Lee Davis Community Resource Center, 3402 N. 22nd St., Tampa||
|Plant City Community Resource Center, 307 N. Michigan Ave., Plant City||
|SouthShore Community Resource Center, 201 14th Ave. SE, Ruskin||
- Residents must be pre-registered through the Hillsborough County call center at (813) 272-5900, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- People who do not have a designated primary care physician or are uninsured are eligible for pre-screening and pre-registration through the call center.
- There is no charge for the test administered at Hillsborough County locations.
- Should a test be scheduled for you, you will be informed of time, date, and testing location during this call.
What to Bring:
- Although pedestrians can be accommodated at some sites, it is best to arrive in a personal vehicle as the majority of the testing is conducted via drive-thru.
- Each person to be tested must be seated next to a working window.
- Limit vehicle passengers to those needing a test.
- Have a photo ID with name and date of birth for all persons being tested (can be Florida driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport).
- Bring the CORRECT confirmation code provided by the call center; this can be a printed copy of the testing confirmation email received from the call center, a screen-shot of the confirmation number, or the code may be provided verbally. A printed code or screen-shot on the phone helps the process, but is not required.
You will be required to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Current address (where you are staying)
- Best contact information to reach you in case the result is positive
What to Expect:
- You will be greeted by a health care provider in personal protective gear who will give you instructions.
- A minimally invasive test will be administered.
- Several factors may contribute to an inconclusive or Test Not Performed (TNP) result. Please refrain from eating or drinking for two hours prior to your appointment time. This includes chewing gum, drinking coffee or taking non-prescription oral medications. Drinking water is allowed. Following these guidelines may help mitigate inaccurate test results.
- Test results are not immediate. It may take 10 days or longer for results. After taking the test, you will be given information on what to do while you await the results.
- Please be patient - calling back to check on your results will not expedite the process.
Testing sites are staffed by health care professionals in medical protective gear who are trained to test for COVID-19 coronavirus. Directional signage and law enforcement will help residents through the testing site in an orderly fashion.
Additional Testing Resources
- Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing at Walgreens
Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with state and federal guidelines. At the testing locations, Walgreens pharmacists will oversee the self-administration of Abbott’s new ID NOW COVID-19 test.
If You’re Sick
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home.
Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Do not leave, except to get medical care
- Do not visit public areas
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency
- Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
- Separate yourself from other people in your home
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean all "high-touch" surfaces every day
For more detailed information and guidelines for what to do when you are sick, visit the CDC website.
- Who can be tested at the public testing sites? Any Hillsborough County resident can request an appointment. You do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms to be tested.
- Why are you testing persons who aren’t sick or who don’t think they have been exposed to COVID-19? Research shows that many people who have the virus may be asymptomatic, that is, showing no symptoms. Asymptomatic persons can unknowingly spread the virus to others. Public health officials say expanded testing is crucial to making decisions about reopening the County and developing policies to protect vulnerable populations and avoid a second wave of cases. Having a better idea of how many people currently have the virus will give Hillsborough County emergency leaders more information to make these important decisions.
- Is there a cost? The tests at the public testing sites are free. Insurance is NOT required, nor is a doctor’s note or prescription.
- Why must I make an appointment to be tested? A reservation is necessary to ensure that time slots are available at the testing site, to increase the speed of the actual testing process, and so that you receive important instructions. When your appointment is booked, you will receive a confirmation code that you will be asked to provide upon arrival at the testing site.
- What does “point-in-time” testing mean? The free tests available at the County’s community testing sites are intended to detect whether an individual has the virus at the moment the sample was collected.
- How old do you have to be to be tested? There is no age limit, however minors must be accompanied by an authorized adult, such as a parent or guardian.
- When will the results be known? Test results are not immediate. It usually takes 7 to 10 days, and in some cases longer. In the meantime, persons who were ill at the time they took the test should self-isolate until the diagnosis is known. All residents, including those who are asymptomatic, are reminded to wear face coverings while around other people in public.
- What happens if I test positive? You will be contacted and provided instructions.
- Will the test show if I had the virus in the past but didn’t know it? No. Those types of tests are serology tests, which look for the presence of antibodies - specific proteins made in response to infections. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information about COVID-19 serology testing.
- Where can I get antibody testing? Start by speaking with your doctor. Antibody testing is not offered by Hillsborough County or the Florida Department of Health.
- If I was exposed to someone with the virus in the last 14 days, will a negative result on this test mean I don’t have COVID-19? No. It can take up to 14 days between when you are exposed to the virus and when you start to get sick. If you don’t have symptoms and receive a negative test result during this time, this does not mean that you were not exposed. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 it is important that you remain isolated from other people for 14 days from that exposure, regardless of a negative test result.
- Where are the County’s community testing sites? The public testing sites are located at Raymond James Stadium, and at Hillsborough County Community Resource Centers in East Tampa, Plant City, and SouthShore. At-home testing may be an option for certain residents who cannot travel to a testing location.
- What else should I know? Bring a photo ID with name and date of birth for all persons being tested (can be Florida driver's license, state-issued ID, or passport). Although pedestrians can be accommodated at some sites, it is best to arrive in a personal vehicle as the majority of the testing is conducted via drive-thru. Limit vehicle passengers to those needing a test.
- How do I make a reservation for a test? Call (813) 272-5900 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Note that call-takers will ask a series of questions. This is to help determine the best testing resource for each individual.