Who should get tested?
Any individual showing COVID-19 symptoms should be tested, even if they have been vaccinated.
The CDC also recommends the following people continue to test if they are not fully vaccinated:
- Those who are planning to travel or who have returned from travel
- Those with frequent interactions with the public
- Those who are working in health care and congregant settings
- Those who are notified of a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient
If you are unsure if you should be tested, please contact your health care provider and follow their recommendation.
Get tested and notify your contacts if you’re positive.
As Marylanders start to return to doing the things we’ve missed since the pandemic began, we need to do as much as we can to continue to stop COVID-19 from spreading. While vaccines are the best path forward to ending the pandemic, testing and contact tracing are still important to protect the most vulnerable and unvaccinated among us.
If you have COVID symptoms, get tested. If you test positive, notify your contacts.
Testing at Home
To encourage testing, MDH is offering free, at-home rapid antigen tests.
Contact your local health department to find out where to receive a free test kit in your area, while supplies last. At-home tests are also available over-the-counter or from your healthcare provider.
The FDA has extended the expiration dates on many COVID-19 over the counter (OTC) at-home tests, including those from Abbott BinaxNow, CareStart, iHealth and Flowflex manufacturers. In most cases the extension is for three additional months from the date on the package, and additional extensions may be forthcoming. If the expiration date on the box of your at-home test is near or past the expiration date, please visit the extension resources and manufacturer’s links below to see if the expiration date of your test kit has been extended:
For more information on expiration dates, visit covidTEST.maryland.gov or call 1-855-MD-GoVAX (855-634-6829).
|iHealth||The FDA granted a three-month shelf-life extension for the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, which extended the shelf-life of all iHealth tests with expiration dates on or before Sept 29, 2022 from 6 months to 9 months. For more information, visit iHealth Expiration Extension.|
|Abbott BinaxNOW||The FDA granted Abbott BinaxNOW a 12-month to 15-month shelf-life extension on January 7, 2022. The length of time varies by lot numbers, with most lots extended three months beyond their expiration dates. To check by lot number, visit Abbott BinaxNOW Expiration Extension.|
|CareStart||In January 2022, FDA extended the shelf life of the CareStartTM COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests from six (6) months to nine (9) months.
Lots expiring in February through May 2022 are now expiring three months later than marked. For example, an expiration date of April 2022 is now expiring in July 2022.
For more information, visit CareStart Expiration Extension.
|Flowflex||The FDA extended the shelf life of the Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test from twelve (12) months to sixteen (16) months.
For more information, visit Flowflex Expiration Extension. Contact customer support at 1 (800) 838-9502 for any additional questions.
Test to Treat
Maryland pharmacies and health partners are participating in the federal Test to Treat (T2T) initiative to expand access to potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatments for all residents. Through T2T, people are able to get a rapid COVID-19 test and – if they test positive and treatments are appropriate for them – immediately receive a prescription and have their prescription filled all at one location. There may be a charge associated with these services.
You can find T2T sites in Maryland listed on the new T2T locator, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).