COVID-19 Testing

Many questions regarding the applications and appropriateness of specific types of assays for COVID-19 testing have been asked. This document is intended to assist with understanding options and requirements surrounding each.  Click here for information regarding each type of testing.

Click here for more information regarding antibody testing.

Click Here to Find a Testing Site Near You


COVID-19 Testing in Saginaw County (Updated 8/14/2020)

WHO:              Anyone who would like a FREE COVID-19 diagnostic test may get one

WHERE:           Drive-thru sampling site at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers, 501 Lapeer Ave., Saginaw, Monday thru Friday, 7:30 am – 12:30 pm. No doctor’s order is required. No health insurance is required.

Great Lakes Bay Health Centers will also be offering pop-up sites throughout the community as needed. For more information visit or call (989) 293-3492.

OTHERS:          Locations that may charge fees, require insurance, or require doctor’s orders include:

  • Rite Aid on State Street in Saginaw. Visit to fill out a screening form and schedule an appointment
  • Covenant HealthCare or Ascension St. Mary’s laboratories

WHY:               If you feel sick, get tested.

If someone close to you feels sick, get tested.

If you work outside the home or will be returning to work, get tested.

The Saginaw County Health Department encourages everyone considering a test to first consult with their primary care provider for guidance:

  1. Is testing really necessary if you?
  2. What should you do in addition to testing if you have symptoms?
  3. How do you handle a positive result?

Each insurance company is different when it comes to COVID-19 testing and out-of-pocket fees. Check with your carrier about testing costs, especially if you have had more than one.

For more questions, call the Saginaw County Health Department hotline at (989) 758-3828.

Other Testing Considerations

 Frequency of Testing Recommendations Statewide

 One-time testing, as needed

  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • At intake to any group living or congregate care setting, even without symptoms
  • At intake to a hospital in preparation for surgical procedures, even without symptoms, as deemed necessary by treating clinician
  • For public health monitoring purposes
  • In areas facing inequity in access such as racial/ethnic minorities or rural communities

Recurring testing

Any group living or congregate care setting with one or more associated COVID-19 case (weekly testing recommended until 14 days after last new positive case)

Post-symptomatic testing

Anyone with symptoms: two tests, separated by 24 hours, if a testing-based strategy is used to leave isolation. In the event of limited testing capacity, a symptom-based strategy may be employed:

  • 72 hours without fever without use of fever-reducing medications
  • Improved symptoms
  • 10 days since onset of first symptoms

Repeated Testing Recommendations Only in Areas of Medium or High Risk

Weekly testing

  • Congregate care staff
  • First responders

Biweekly testing

  • Homeless shelters
  • Jails
  • Health workers
  • Workers with high-risk exposure including:
    • Repeated close and prolonged contact with the public
    • High-risk professions where clusters of infections have been identified (migrant workers, food processing facilities, animal husbandry)
    • Essential work during period of strict social distancing

Priorities for Testing Patients