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COVID-19 Testing in Carroll County

Limited testing is available through the Health Department for:

  • People who are close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are at high risk for serious illness
  • People working with our contact tracing team
  • People referred by schools and childcare centers
  • People referred by their healthcare provider because they are unable to provide testing

If you fall into one of the categories above and you are having trouble getting tested for COVID-19, please call the Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 410-876-4848. You will be asked some screening questions, and if you meet the criteria, you can schedule a test if there are appointments available.

Testing is currently being offered Tuesday and Friday 9 am – 3 pm, and Wednesday 1 – 6 pm.

Please note, we are not able to test people who need routine testing for work or travel.

Who should get tested for current infection (CDC guidance)

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
    • Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
    • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
  • Unvaccinated people who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot physically distance as needed to avoid exposure, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor settings.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider, health department, employer, or school

CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

Maryland Department of Health Testing FAQs

CDC Diagnostic Testing Information

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Testing Site Resource Page

If you need to be tested:

When signing up for a COVID-19 test, remember to do the following:

  • Ask what type of test the test site is providing (PCR, rapid test, etc.).
  • Ask how long it will take to receive your results, and how you will receive your results (online portal, email, phone call, or another method of communication).
  • For those who are employed: check to make sure you get the appropriate documentation needed for your employer, and confirm that the type of test you received or that you sign up for is accepted by your employer.

Self-collection and self-test kits

If you need to be tested for COVID-19 and can’t get tested by a healthcare provider, you can consider using either self-collection kit or a self-test that can be performed at home or anywhere else. Sometimes a self-test is also called a “home test” or an “at-home test.” FDA provides information on which self-tests are authorized for use.

These self-collection kits and tests are available either by prescription or over the counter, without a prescription, in a pharmacy or retail store. At present, self-collection kits and tests are used for the detection of current infection. They are not usually acceptable for travel or work-related testing.

Read the complete manufacturer’s instructions before using the test. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about the test or your results. If you test positive, notify your healthcare provider and the health department and isolate yourself from others. If you are negative, consider testing again in a few days to confirm your results. Read this CDC page on self-testing for more instructions.

Currently, self-collection kits and tests are in high demand and may be sold out. The Health Department is working to purchase some of these tests.


Traveling and need to test? Regulations vary depending on the location you are traveling to. You will need to check with your travel company, airline, travel agent, resort, or location you are traveling to for information on their requirements.

For general travel tips during COVID, check the CDC COVID-19 travel page.

Travel information by location 

CDC Testing Guidance for Healthcare Providers

Types of COVID-19 Testing 

Type of test

What it tells you

How it’s done

When you’ll get results

What you need to know


If you have a current COVID-19 infection

Detects RNA of the virus

Nose/throat swab; saliva (less common)

1-7 days

Test results are highly accurate. Check with your healthcare provider or health department for guidance on the timing of your test if it is related to an exposure.

Rapid (Antigen) Test

If you have a current COVID-19 infection

Detects proteins made by the virus

Nose/throat swab

Some may be very fast (15-30 minutes) and can be done in a healthcare provider’s office

Positive results are usually highly accurate. Results are most accurate after symptoms develop, less accurate for people without symptoms.

Antibody (Serology) Test

If you had a COVID-19 infection in the past and made antibodies to the virus

Blood test

Same day or 1-3 days, depending on test site

It does not show if you currently have COVID-19. A positive test does NOT mean that you are immune to future infections.

Self-collection or self-test

If you have a current COVID-19 infection

Nose swab or saliva

Depends on the test

If you are positive, tell your health care provider and health department and take steps to prevent spread to others.

Testing for COVID-19 – CDC

COVID-19 Testing Basics – FDA