Our Experiences with COVID Testing

As COVID rates continue to rise, it's important that we try social distance, quarantine, and, of course, get tested. Here at HCTNS, we get why getting tested might be daunting so here are just some of our experiences to help. 



I got tested at an urgent care in Philadelphia after my friend tested positive. It was a very, very time consuming process since so many people in the city are relying on urgent care places for testing. I waited for an hour before getting an appointment and they were able to see me within forty-five minutes. After I got swabbed, I waited in a private room for an hour so a doctor could take my vitals. The test itself is not scary—just close your eyes and count along with the person administering your test! 


Although I had been staying safe at home with my mom, I knew that if my friends and I wanted to get together over the break we all most definitely needed to get tested and make sure we’re safe before meeting in a small group. In my area, CityMD’s and local urgent care centers have people camping outside starting at 5AM to wait for a test. I found an alternative way to get tested that was easier for me, via an at-home testing kit. I ordered mine from Pixel by LabCorps. All I had to do was fill out a brief questionnaire explaining my situation and need for a test, then give them my health insurance information. With health insurance, the test and shipping is free. Without, it’s around $119. The test came a day later with very clear instructions. Once I was done, I had it shipped overnight via FedEx and my results were emailed to me 24 hours later. The whole process took about 3 days, and was so easy! 


I’ve gotten tested a bunch of times since being back in New York City for the semester-- it’s what makes me feel the most comfortable to see my friends multiple times a week. My most convenient coronavirus test was at New York Doctors Urgent Care in Midtown. I didn’t have to make an appointment in advance and was in and out the door in 15 minutes! To avoid long lines at other urgent care centers in the city (particularly CityMD), I have resorted to taking at-home tests from Pixel by LapCorps as well. I have taken three of these so far, all of which have gone smoothly. Risk assessment is hard and scary, but I think it’s important to get tested if you think you have been, are, or will be in an environment where potential transmission is likely!


Before going home to Taiwan, I got tested at a CityMD to get the all clear. Overall, it was a smooth experience. At the time, not as many people were getting tested and things were just rolling out, so the wait wasn’t as intense as it would be now. I was swabbed and had my blood drawn too. The actual process for both portions of testing, once I got in the room, were easy. It was more so just psyching myself to go get tested that was difficult. I let myself panic and overthink it for too long. I got tested pretty early on, but I still think I should’ve just gone sooner, knowing now just how important and easy it can be. 


For information on where and how to get tested, check out the page on testing in NY state and to go with that, the state page on finding the closest testing site near you.