Considerations for who should get tested

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • People identified as having been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider or local/state health department.

Most public health officials and infectious disease doctors will say that, if you feel you have a reason to be tested, you should be tested.

How to get tested in Hudson Valley

While some types of tests are relatively easy to obtain, others, such as rapid PCR tests, are currently scarce in the Hudson Valley. With all of this complexity in getting a simple test, it is often best to consult with your Health Care Provider to determine which type of test and which site is best for you. Your Health Care Provider may also be able to expedite your test if they deem it necessary. 

At-Home Resources:

The U.S. government’s free at-home COVID test program was suspended on September 2, 2022 due to lack of funding from Congress. However, home antigen tests are still readily available for sale at most local pharmacies and apothecaries.

If you have health insurance through an employer or Marketplace, your insurance should pay you back for 8 at-⁠home tests each month for each person on your plan. Learn more here.

If you are having difficulty obtaining an at-home test, let us know at [email protected]. We have a supply and would be happy to give you a box.

Note that most at-home test kits have received an expiration exemption from the FDA. To see if your kit has an extension, click here.

At-Home PCR: Pixel

You are eligible for $0 upfront cost if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are experiencing mild symptoms
  • You have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • You live or work in a congregate setting
  • You have been asked to get tested by a healthcare professional, contact investigator, or public health department.

We consider our students and staff to qualify via the “live or work in a congregated setting” criterion. Otherwise, the test costs $119 if you do not meet these guidelines. If you meet the criteria for $0 up front cost, it would be good to check with your insurance provider to make sure they cover the following CPT codes: U0003 or 87635. They will bill with these codes to any insurance agency. 

To order a test just click the “Get Started” button at the top of the page and follow the directions from there. Note that tests should only be placed in a FedEx dropbox Monday-Thursday. Results can take up to 2 days, depending on when it goes in a dropbox.

Some members of our community have found that you can only order one kit per family member at a time, and that the first kit is free and each subsequent kit is $50. We recommend contacting Pixel to confirm for your individual circumstance.

If possible, we recommend having a Pixel test on-hand for your child should no other local resources be available.

As with everything related to COVID, this information is subject to change. We recommend contacting a facility directly to confirm their most recent testing resources.

On-Site Resources:

1. Bambini Pediatrics (Poughkeepsie)

Bambini offers a variety of COVID tests, and is one of the few place in the Hudson Valley offering rapid PCRs. While we have heard of occasional shortages at Bambini, they are still one of the best bets for a fast PCR. We definitely recommend calling ahead to confirm their availability.

2. Pulse-MD Urgent Care (Poughkeepsie, other locations)

The Ulster County COVID Recovery Service Center told us that this has been their go-to reference for rapid NAATs. Wait times may be long.

3. Emergency One Urgent Care (Kingston)

In the past, if you waited until midnight to make an appointment, it almost guaranteed you an appointment for a test the next day. However, EmergencyOne in Kingston has recently limited their rapid testing availability. We have also heard of long wait times, and results can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days.

4.Quest Diagnostics (Kingston, Saugerties)

Appointments can be difficult to get.

5. WalgreensRite Aid – (multiple locations)

Walgreens and Rite Aid all offer NAAT tests. We’ve heard of appointments in the Kingston/Saugerties area being difficult to get, but Walgreens seems to have recently opened up a bunch of same-day appointments. They offer both PCR (72-hour results) and rapid NAAT (45 minutes) – all free of charge with insurance. We’ve recently heard that CVS is no longer conducting on-site testing. All pharmacies carry at-home antigen tests, though due to high demand, they are frequently out of stock. 

6. WMC Health Alliance (Kingston)

They now offer COVID-19 ABBOTT ID NOW Rapid Testing in Kingston, by appointment only. The ID Now diagnostic test is a rapid, molecular NAAT point-of-care test that detects COVID-19 in 15 minutes or less. As with all local facilities, we recommend calling ahead to ensure tests are in stock.

7. EmUrgentCare (Saugerties)

Offers testing for people with symptoms or a prescription from an AlbanyMed provider. Testing for symptomatic patients are administered based on an evaluation by an EmUrgentCare provider. Appointments aren’t required, but wait times can be long and results can take up to 7 days.

8. CareMount
The Kingston location offers PCR testing for CareMount patients (48-hour turnaround). Their Mount Kisco location offers drive-thru PCR testing for any individual—regardless of patient status—who is going to be traveling, who needs a procedure, or who may have been exposed to someone with Covid. Click here to make a drive-thru appointment.

9. Village Apothecary (Woodstock) Tests cost $125, but appointments are available if you’re in a pinch. The Apothecary also conducts weekly surveillance testing at Middle Way using rapid antigen tests. To register your child for this free service, CLICK HERE.

10. Your Health Care Provider. A good resource is your doctor. We have heard of some physicians performing tests on-site, and at the very least, they may be able to refer you to a good testing location.

What Types of Tests Are There?

There are two different types of tests – diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

  1. A diagnostic test A diagnostic, or viral, test checks specimens from your nose or your mouth to find out if you are currently infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.Currently there are two types of diagnostic tests which detect the virus – nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) that detect the virus’s genetic material, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. A PCR test is a type of NAAT. Because viral genetic material may stay in the body for up to 90 days following infection, people should not take a NAAT/PCR test if they have tested positive within the previous 90 days. 
  2. An antibody test looks for antibodies that are made by your immune system in response to a threat, such as a specific virus. Antibodies can help fight infections. Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Because of this, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active coronavirus infection, but instead can be used to determine if you had exposure to the virus in the past.. At this time researchers do not know if the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to the coronavirus in the future.


COVID Tests: What’s the difference?
  Molecular Test *Antigen Test (see note below) Antibody Test
Also known as… Diagnostic test, viral test, molecular test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test

Rapid diagnostic test

(Some molecular tests are also rapid tests.)

Serological test, serology, blood test, serology test
How the sample is taken…

Nasal or throat swab (most tests)     

Saliva (a few tests)

Nasal or throat swab Finger stick or blood draw
How long it takes to get results… Same day (some locations) or up to a week One hour or less Same day (many locations) or 1-3 days
Is another test needed… This test is typically highly accurate and usually does not need to be repeated. Positive results are usually highly accurate but negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test. Sometimes a second antibody test is needed for accurate results.
What it shows… Diagnoses active coronavirus infection Diagnoses active coronavirus infection Shows if you’ve been infected in the past
What it can’t do… Show if you ever had COVID-19 or were infected with the coronavirus in the past Definitively rule out active coronavirus infection. Antigen tests are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests. Your health care provider may order a molecular test if your antigen test shows a negative result but you have symptoms of COVID-19. Diagnose active coronavirus infection at the time of the test or show that you do not have COVID-19
*As you can see from the chart, a Rapid Antigen Test is fast but less sensitive and may yield a false negative. It would be important for you to follow up with your PCP in case a molecular test is also needed to confirm a negative result if you are experiencing symptoms.Further information on testing can be found here: