|To register for testing, please use the registration link below. You will receive a confirmation email with the date, time and location of your test, as explained.|
To learn more about vaccination or to register your interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit sccmo.org/COVIDvaccine or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899.
The St. Charles County Department of Public Health is conducting free testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tests are administered by appointment, which may be scheduled by clicking the GREEN banner below. Scheduling confirmation and test results are sent by email, so please make certain that your email information is correct before submitting and check your email (including the spam folder) after you register. If you do not have an email address, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Testing is performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a nasopharyngeal swab or by rapid nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) using a mid-turbinate nasal swab to determine if there is an active infection. Please note that this test requires a swab being put in your nose, which may cause mild, temporary discomfort. This is not an antibody test, which denotes past infection.
- If you are a close contact** and you are experiencing symptoms, the optimal time to be tested is 0-4 days after the onset of your first symptom.
- If you are a close contact**, but are not experiencing any symptoms, the optimal time to be tested is 5-9 days after you were exposed to the infected person. Performing a test too soon after exposure can result in a false negative test result.
- Individuals in select industries or who have a high incidence of public contact are at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. Testing can help to monitor the health of these individuals. These industries include individuals who work or reside in:
- Health care or a long-term care facility.
- A congregate living facility.
- Correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons.
- First responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers and firefighters.
- Critical infrastructure, including grocery stores, pharmacies, public utilities, childcare, sanitation or other public-facing jobs.
- If you are not a close contact** and are not experiencing symptoms, the Department of Public Health does not recommend that you get tested unless testing is required to participate in sports, enter your place of employment, travel to a foreign country, or enter school. If you need to be tested for one of these activities, please note that PCR test results may take up to 5 days to be reported - so plan accordingly. Rapid amplification (NAAT) tests are reported within 24 hours. (Due to a limited supply, rapid tests are not available through the Department of Public Health at this time.)
- The Department of Public Health does not recommend testing more than once a month, unless you become a close contact or develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection. If these circumstances arise, follow the guidelines stated above with respect to the timing of testing.
If you do not have a current email or phone number, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899.
Awaiting Test Results
For those participating in this testing opportunity, the Department of Public Health requests that an individual self-isolate* while awaiting test results if you are a close contact** of someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within the past 2 weeks or if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
You are also requested to self-isolate* if you are experiencing at least 2 of the following symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Stuffy or runny nose
Receiving Test Results and Required Quarantine
A positive test result indicates the detection of the Sars CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, in your test specimen.
Rapid Amplification Test Results
- Due to a limited supply, rapid tests are not available through the Department of Public Health at this time.
- If your test is positive, you will receive this result within 24 hours of the test by email notification.
- If your test is negative, the Department of Public Health typically does not report this result, but will send a second sample to an outside laboratory for standard RT-PCR analysis.
RT-PCR Test Results
- An RT-PCR test is more accurate than rapid amplification testing. It is possible for your RT-PCR test to be positive, even when the rapid amplification test is negative. RT-PCR results are provided to you by email from the laboratory in 3-5 days following the date your sample was collected.
- If you receive a positive test result, let others you have been in contact** with know your result and begin to self-isolate.* You will receive further instruction for your isolation from the Department of Public Health. Your close contacts should quarantine and speak with a medical provider about their need to complete testing.
- If you receive a negative test result, this may alter quarantine times for close contacts** who remain asymptomatic.
- If you have additional questions or concerns about the testing or your result, please call the St. Charles County COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899.
*Self-isolate means that you should stay indoors and completely avoid contact with other people, including others within your household, as much as possible.
**A close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting 48 hours before the person began to feel sick until the time the person was isolated.