What to expect from COVID-19 rapid test at CVS

(We/us pronouns)

We had a Covid-19 rapid test today at CVS Pharmacy. We signed up for it online, which included insurance information and a photo of the insurance card (both sides).

We got a same-day appointment (on a Sunday) very close to our home.

Rapid test gives results in 15 minutes! The other test via the pharmacy drive through says 1-2 days for results. We opted for the 15-minute results.

They emailed and texted reminders of the appointment.

We arrived three minutes early and waited in our car as directed. There were designated parking spots for Covid testing beside a Covid testing trailer.

They call us on our mobile. They verify our name, address, and date of birth. Then we walk inside the tiny trailer.

Tiny COVID testing trailer at CVS in USA

The trailer is partitioned into two with plexiglass. The technician is in scrubs and mask and gloves in a little office with computer, phone, and medical supplies. The tech asked to photograph our photo ID for our file. Since it looked like an iPhone, it felt a little sketchy to have our driver’s license on the tech’s phone; but we allowed it.

Through a tiny window like at the gas station, the tech took our temperature via a no-touch thermometer in front of our forehead area. Then a pulse oximeter is offered for slipping comfortably onto a finger. It reads oxygenation level and heart rate. It is on for less than a minute.

Then the tech told us we will swab our own nose. The tech handed us the still-wrapped q-tip (normal size, not jumbo, but only one swab—not double like an ear swab) and said to stick it up our nose until it gets resistance. She said not to stab our brain and to swirl 5 times in each nostril. Then we deposited the boogery swab in the lab tube she held through the little window for us.

She gave us two Covid information sheets that tell about the virus, the test, and what results mean. A positive result of this test, it says, is very accurate (few false positives, though they are possible). A negative result is less confident, meaning you could still have Covid. And a negative test does not mean you won’t get Covid later.

We drove home and received a text that our results were available online. This was exactly 15 minutes after completing the test. The online access requires our date of birth and phone number for verification. It offers a downloadable pdf for 24 hours.

We received a phone call from CVS 21 minutes after completing the test. They verified our identity and shared the same results as the text. They asked if we had questions. We said the handouts were thorough so that we had no questions.

The tech and caller were both very friendly. The process was fast. Having to swab ourself was stressful. Then again, for us, having to leave the house is stressful. We cried once we got back to the car, a mixture of relief and having had to interact with humans.

We hope this thorough explanation can reduce your anxiety if you get rapid tested at CVS. (Our test result was negative, by the way.)

9 thoughts on “What to expect from COVID-19 rapid test at CVS

  1. This is a lovely post: a nice thing to share what to expect with others. I’m impressed with the self-application of the Qtip. I have had the test twice: I don’t think I would be able to stick it up far enough for it to be valid. Take pride in that accomplishment 💞 I’m glad the result was negative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment filled with empathy. We don’t know if we stuck it high enough up either! We never had more than one symptom, and it is improving, so likely just a brief non-Covid infection. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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