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COVID-19 Testing Centers | UPMC
COVID-19 Testing Centers | UPMC

Regional Collection Centers Expand Local Testing

UPMC developed a test for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, and is using it to diagnose select, symptomatic patients. Our testing will help fill a critical gap before more commercial tests become available.

In-Hospital Testing

We are offering testing to patients before certain in-hospital procedures to make sure they do not have the coronavirus, even if they don’t have symptoms. People infected with the coronavirus still can spread it while asymptomatic. Testing will help us to identify people who are infected and help prevent spreading the virus before, during, and after their procedure. This will help keep our patients, staff, and facilities safe.

If you test positive for COVID-19, we will talk more about your specific situation and help you to make the best decision for you. Our health care providers and you will decide together whether you should still have the procedure at that time. If we move forward with the procedure, we will adapt your care to keep you, our health care workers, and others in the hospital safe.

Where Is UPMC’s COVID-19 Testing Taking Place?

Testing sites are not open for walk-in testing. Patients need a physician order or an appointment with the collection center. The UPMC provider who orders the test will call the patient with results. The time to receive results varies based on collection site and volume. Those without a UPMC provider will be contacted by the central COVID-19 team. Patients should check with their PCP or log into for results. Patients who have their samples taken should self-isolate until they receive results.

COVID-19 Test Sites

Call location for collection hours.

COVID-19 Testing at UPMC Urgent Care

COVID-19 testing is available only for patients who have a written referral or written order from a medical provider. UPMC Urgent Care will honor any prescription for symptomatic patients (individuals with COVID-19 symptoms) and pre-procedural prescriptions from a UPMC provider.

You can schedule a COVID-19 test online at select UPMC Urgent Care locations at UPMC Urgent Care staff can administer a COVID-19 test while you are in your vehicle or safely inside the office.

COVID-19 Test Without a Written Referral or Written Order

Patients who do not have a medical referral may request an evaluation. Based on the outcome of that evaluation, UPMC Urgent Care providers may order a COVID-19 test. Medical evaluations are provided for ‘walk-in’ patients only during regular business hours.

How the Test Works

Trained UPMC providers are collecting specimens. These workers are wearing personal protective equipment, including N95 masks or respirators, gowns, and gloves. Collection occurs in negative pressure rooms. This assures that air does not leave the room until it flows through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which removes pathogens.

The test involves a “nasopharyngeal” swab. Providers will insert a thin device into the patient’s nose into the nasal cavity to collect the specimen. We then transport the specimens for testing to UPMC Clinical Laboratories, the largest academic clinical lab in the U.S. In most cases, we can have results in two to five days.

We created our test using reagents approved for making a SARS-CoV-2 test and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The test is validated for use in human diagnoses under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What Should I Do Until My Results are Available?

Patients who have their samples taken should self-isolate until they receive results. If the test is positive, we will refer patients to public health authorities to make sure they continue to get care. All positive UPMC test results will be “presumed” positive until confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories.

If you think you might have COVID-19 but aren’t showing symptoms like a high fever or breathing problems, call your primary care physician. You also can use UPMC AnywhereCare, our telemedicine service, for a virtual care visit.

If you have severe symptoms, such as a high fever or severe breathing trouble, you should go to your local emergency room for care. Call ahead if you can.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing Information

Patients can find information on COVID-19 antibody testing, including risks, benefits, and testing procedures, from the below PDFs.

This blood test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) that is the result of past or recent exposure to COVID19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The human body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. It typically takes 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood.

COVID-19 Screening Before Your Procedure

Your doctor may have asked you to have a Covid-19 screening done before your procedure or surgery. Even if you do not have symptoms, you may still be positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. (We call this “asymptomatic”.)