The CDC and Eastern Idaho Public Health have provided the following information to assist in answering this question.
To get tested for the active COVID-19 PCR test, you will need a doctor’s order. Once you have an order from a health care provider of your choice, no appointment or call is necessary. You can show up to any one of our drive-thru testing sites (see locations below) any time between 9AM and 4PM and stay in your vehicle while being tested.
There are currently three ways that you may be able to get a doctor’s order.
This testing is done by collecting a nasal swab at one of our drive-thru locations in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.
3908 Washington Parkway, Idaho Falls
We have moved! This is the new drive-thru location as of August 11, 2020. As you arrive you will see signs and cones set up to help direct you as you arrive to our new location.
550 Memorial Drive, Pocatello
In Pocatello, we have partnered with ISU/Southeast Idaho Public Health to set up a drive-thru collection site at the Holt Arena parking lot (Northwest corner near the first ticket booth).
100 S. Center Street
We have partnered with BYU-Idaho Student Health Center in Rexburg to provide COVID-19 PCR testing. This testing location is on campus located at the corner of East Viking Street and 2nd East. Look for the directional signs at the Kimball parking lot.
Testing is available for BOTH STUDENTS AND NON-STUDENTS.
Results are typically delivered in 48-72 hours, however a recent surge in testing nationwide, shortage of testing supplies and reagents and backlog with all major national laboratories has resulted in 7-10 day turnaround in many cases. Please let us know if your result is time sensitive due to upcoming travel or medical procedures or return-to-work requirements. We will do our best to expedite those cases, but we can’t guarantee a specific turnaround time due to the constantly changing circumstances and the national demand for testing and testing supplies.
Express Lab is able to perform a rapid antigen test for some patients WHO ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS AND ARE IN THE FIRST 5 DAYS OF SYMPTOMS. This test WILL NOT provide an accurate result if you are not experiencing symptoms. You will still need a doctor’s order for this test to be performed. Also, please note that this test DOES NOT provide adequate documentation for most travel-related requirements. Only an FDA-approved PCR test run by a CLIA licensed laboratory will typically meet such requirements. If you are experiencing symptoms and your provider decides that an antigen test is appropriate for your situation, the test will be run in-house, with an expected turnaround time of 3 hours, unless we are experiencing high volume. Your result will be delivered to your PATIENT PORTAL account as soon as it is complete. Any patient who is considering or has taken this antigen test should read the following document to understand the limitations of the test and the meaning of the result: BD Veritor™ Plus SARS-CoV-2 Assay fact sheet for patients
The best and quickest way to get your result once you’ve been tested is to register for an account on OUR PATIENT PORTAL where you will be notified as soon as your result is complete. From the portal site you will be able to produce the documentation needed to show your negative result for an employer or travel authority.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing (sometimes called serology or igG testing) is different than PCR testing and DOES NOT indicate an active infection. This test indicates presence of antibodies in your body which are specific to COVID-19 and means that your body has previously triggered an immune response to fight a COVID-19 infection. Since it takes your body time to generate these antibodies in numbers adequate for detection, you may get a negative result for this test even if you are actively infected. It can take 10-14 days after infection for sufficient antibodies to be present in your body to result in a positive test.
We do perform antibody testing locally and will typically have a result within 24 hours. Please note that this test requires a blood draw and CAN NOT be done from a nasal swab like the PCR testing.
COVID PCR testing should be performed if a patient is experiencing symptoms consistent with the virus infection. COVID IgG Antibody testing should be performed 10-14 days after a possible infection and after all symptoms are no longer present.
There are multiple states and countries requiring anybody who is entering their territory from another location to provide proof that they are COVID-19 free upon arrival. For most locations, the only adequate proof currently being accepted is a negative result from a PCR-based nasal swab test performed within a certain number of days our hours prior to departure. Since testing times can vary (see question above “HOW LONG DO RESULTS TAKE?) we recommend that you come in to be tested at our facility as early as you can and still be within the designated testing window (e.g., if your flight leaves at 6AM on a Thursday and your test needs to be within 72 hours of departure, you should plan to come in the Monday morning prior when we open at 8AM).
Please note that some locations have alternative options for testing and visiting, but usually, in the absence of a valid, PCR test result, you will be required to quarantine for 10-21 days before you’ll be allowed to move freely. You should review the COVID testing and travel requirements for your destination regularly to ensure you understand what will be allowed and required. These requirements may change day to day, depending on the travel destination. With many different requirements and frequent changes in different locations WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT YOUR TEST RESULT WILL ARRIVE IN THE TIME FRAME REQUIRED OR THAT IT WILL BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR TRAVEL DESTINATION.
To provide proof of your test and negative result, you can pick up a printed report from our office if your test is completed before you depart, although with current turn-around times for testing, it’s unlikely your result will be available before you leave. The best way to get your result once you’ve begun travel is to register for an account on OUR PATIENT PORTAL where you will be notified as soon as your result is complete. From the portal site you will be able to produce the documentation needed to show your negative result.
If you would prefer, you can work directly with LabCorp to perform your own test collection at home without needing a doctor’s order. Please note that without a doctor’s order, your insurance will likely not pay for the testing and you’ll be required to pay LabCorp directly for the test. See the LabCorp website for more information on this option. Since this option puts you in direct contact with LabCorp, Express Lab will not be able to provide any information about the testing procedure, time frame for turn-around or your test results. This information is provided here only to make you aware of another option that may be more convenient for you.
The State of Hawaii has released updated requirements for travelers wanting to visit any of the islands. At this time, there is a very limited number of partners that the state will accept COVID tests from and, unfortunately, Express Lab is not currently on the list. You should review the information provided by the state and ensure that you will be able to enter the state before making plans or getting on a plane. The following link will take you to a travel information website maintained by the State of Hawaii: Getting to Hawaii
Due to the nature of COVID-19 and the public health emergency which it poses, privacy rights have been amended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Click here for details.