Who should get tested
As you review the list below, you will see references to people who are fully vaccinated. You are fully vaccinated if it has been two or more weeks since you received your last dose of vaccine. If it has not been at least two weeks since you received one dose in a one-dose series or the second dose in a two-dose series, you are not yet fully vaccinated.
- You have had COVID-19 before. If you have had COVID-19 in the prior three months, you are far less likely to become infected, but it is possible.
- You are fully vaccinated. If you have been fully vaccinated you are far less likely to become infected, but it is possible.
If you leave your home to get a test, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people.
- If you do not have symptoms, it is best to get tested five to seven days after you were close to the person with COVID-19 (exposed). If you get tested too soon, the test may not be able to detect the virus.
- If you develop symptoms, get tested right away.
Visit Close Contacts and Tracing for more information about what to do if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, including quarantine.
Travel within the United States
- If you are not fully vaccinated, CDC recommends getting tested one to three days prior to domestic travel, and you should get tested three to five days after returning home from domestic travel.
- Visit CDC: Domestic Travel During COVID-19 for more information on travel, including prevention guidance and when to quarantine.
- If you are not fully vaccinated, CDC recommends that you do not travel internationally. However, if you do travel internationally, you should get tested one to three days prior to travel. Some international locations may also require vaccinated people to test. Check the requirements of your travel destination.
- Everyone boarding a flight to the United States must have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight or documentation of COVID-19 in the prior three months.
- Even if you are fully vaccinated, you should still get tested three to five days after you return home from international travel.
Health care workers are recommended to test after domestic and international travel and after a high-risk exposure, even if fully vaccinated, due to the vulnerable population they serve. People who work in a health care setting should refer to COVID-19 Recommendations for Health Care Workers (PDF).
- If you are not fully vaccinated, it is important to get tested five to seven days after the large gathering or event, where people are not wearing masks and are not able to stay 6 feet apart. Especially, if you may have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- If you are fully vaccinated and you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, look for symptoms for 14 days after the gathering. Stay home if you feel sick and get tested.
This includes, but is not limited to, first responders, health care workers, child care providers, teachers, coaches, and retail staff.
- Even if you do not have symptoms or you have not had close contact to someone known to have COVID-19, you should still get tested every two weeks if you are not fully vaccinated. People without symptoms can still spread COVID-19 to others.
- All K-12 school educators and school staff who are not fully vaccinated and whose schools have returned to an in-person learning model should get tested every two weeks. Check to see if you are eligible to participate in testing during your school’s testing program.
- Child care workers who are not fully vaccinated, whose programs are participating in on-site testing through the state, are also eligible to get tested through the state program
- If ongoing heath screening is a part of your job, ask your employer about how often you need to be tested for COVID-19.
- Unvaccinated school-age kids who are participating in in-person learning, including summer programs, or any activities or sports, and their family members who are not fully vaccinated, should get tested every two weeks.
- College and trade-school students who are not fully vaccinated should get tested if they return to campus for classes.
These people may not respond as well to COVID-19 vaccines. They may be advised by their health care provider to test at certain intervals or after certain exposures.
Follow testing requests from health care providers or public health workers. Specific recommendations may be provided for cases and contacts associated with outbreaks or clusters.