Free COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 Testing Graphic

Wake County offers drive-thru COVID-19 testing at numerous locations throughout the county, including weekend and evening hours. This free service provides an easy and efficient way for residents to learn if they have the virus and help prevent the spread. All you need is a smart-phone! No ID, insurance, or appointment are necessary.  

All Wake County testing sites are now open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

There is no cost, no ID required and no appointments necessary. All sites use self-administered PCR tests, which are painless and require people to swab just inside their nose. Results should come back within 12–24 hours. Walk-ups are welcome at all of our drive-thru testing sites!

Now you can self-test at home – FREE!

Use this link to request a free at-home testing kit. It will be mailed to you via FedEx overnight shipping. Follow the instructions and you’ll be able to mail your sample back to the lab using a prepaid shipping envelope included in your kit. Then you can go online and check for your results, usually within 1–2 days after the sample arrives at the lab!

Request a FREE at-home testing kit!


Where can I go for a COVID-19 test?

Wake County continues to offer more free testing locations throughout the community with expanded hours. We’re working hard to bring testing into communities with a concentration of historically marginalized populations, communities where we’re seeing under-testing and to areas where many may not have transportation. Since new locations are always being added and changed to reach as many areas as possible, it’s best to check to find the latest locations and hours. You’ll be able to find the testing that open today closest to you.

Who should be tested?

COVID-19 testing is open to anyone who would like to be tested. We especially encourage you to be tested if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Have COVID-like symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, loss of smell;
  • Have been in close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19;
  • Are a healthcare worker or first responder;
  • Work in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters;
  • Are 65 years old or older;
  • Have underlying health conditions;
  • Are a member of a vulnerable or historically marginalized population;
  • Are a frontline worker in a setting where social distancing is difficult; or
  • Have attended protests, rallies or other mass gatherings.
  • Children under the age of 18 who fall into one of the categories above maybe be tested if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Do I need to sign up for testing?

Right now, we are not requiring an appointment at any of our free drive-thru testing websites. You don’t need insurance and you don’t have to bring an ID.

What should I bring to the testing site?

We’ve made testing easier than ever – you do NOT need an ID, insurance or an appointment. There is no cost to take the test. You should bring a smart phone so that you can register your kit and enter a phone number or email to be contacted with your results. If you do not have a smartphone, let staff at the site know and they will help to register you and enter your email  to receive your results. 

Can I come to testing on foot?

We welcome anyone to walk up to our drive-thru testing locations. You do not need a car to be tested.

How will the testing process work?

Our testing is a completely NO-touch process. You will drive to the testing tent and remain in your car with your window up.

Testing staff will ask you to use your smartphone to scan a code that will take you to a website where you enter information like your name, email and phone number so that you can be contacted with your results. Staff will hand you a self-administered COVID-19 test, and you’ll use it to swab the inside of your nostrils. You’ll place the swab in a test tube, place the test tube in a bag and hand the bag back.

There should be virtually no contact between the test taker and the test administrator and there entire process should only take minutes.

How soon will I get the results?

Results are coming back in 24–48 hours.

If you came to the testing site feeling any COVID-19 symptoms – or came into close-contact with someone who has tested positive – you should return home after the test and self-isolate until you receive your results.

What do I do if my test comes back positive?

Per CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you had symptoms, you should stay home and isolate (avoid anyone in your household) until you can say yes to all three questions:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since you first had symptoms? AND
  • Has it been 24 hours since you last had a fever without using fever-reducing medicine? AND
  • Have your symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, improved?

Learn more about the steps you should take after you've been tested.

Per CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you did not have symptoms, you should stay home and isolate (avoid anyone in your household) until 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming you did not develop symptoms since your positive test.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, the local health department or another member of the COVID-19 Community Team will call to ensure you have the information and support you need, such as tips for staying at home and monitoring symptoms.

To protect your family and friends and slow the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 Community Team member will also ask you who you have recently been near. The COVID-19 Community Team will reach out to anyone who has been near the person who has tested positive to share information and support, as well as help them get tested. The team will not share your name or personal  information. This information is confidential and will remain private.

What do I do if my test come back negative?

If you were tested because you have symptoms, you should stay home until you have no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and you have felt well for at least 24 hours.

If you were tested because of a known contact to someone with COVID-19, you should follow the quarantine guidance (stay home and avoid contact with other members of your household) until 14 days after your last exposure.

If you were tested for another reason and have no symptoms, you can resume your regular activities.

Whom should I contact if I have questions?

You can call Wake County’s COVID-19 hotline at 888-675-4567​​​​​​​ or email [email protected].