COVID-19 Testing in Rhode Island

Whether or not you’re vaccinated, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate at home, call your healthcare provider, and get a COVID-19 test.

If you're not yet fully vaccinated, get tested every week. You should also get tested if:

  • You’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive.
  • You’ve taken part in activities that put you at higher risk for COVID-19 because you 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.

You're fully vaccinated if you’ve gotten all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 14 days have passed since the final dose. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

How can I get a COVID-19 test?

There are several ways to get tested for COVID-19 in Rhode Island.  Click here or on the map to find the test site closest to you.

covid testing site locator

Click here to schedule a free COVID-19 test on portal.ri.gov.

All Rhode Islanders can schedule a free COVID-19 test for themselves or their dependent child online at portal.ri.gov or by calling 401-222-8022. This list has more information about each State-run test site.

  • Some State-run test sites are walk-through, and others are drive-through. 
  • You do not need insurance to get tested at a State-run site. 
  • Some State-run sites do not require an appointment.

The State also offers free COVID-19 testing at mobile testing events. Check this calendar of weekly testing events to find out where you can get a free rapid test in your local community.

Results from any State-run test sites can be accessed on portal.ri.gov/results.

There are several ways to get a rapid COVID-19 test in Rhode Island.

Rapid antigen tests are available in most pharmacies and respiratory clinics.

  • Free COVID-19 testing for Rhode Islanders ages 3 and older is available at Walgreens Pharmacies across the State.
  • Contact the location where you would like to get tested and ask if they offer rapid antigen tests or rapid PCR tests.

You can also go to portal.ri.gov or call 401-222-8022 to schedule an appointment for a rapid antigen test at a State-run test site. These are located across Rhode Island. Some State-run test sites do not require an appointment to get a rapid antigen test.

Rapid  testing with same-day results is also available at mobile testing events. These events are free, and appointments are not required.

If you receive a rapid antigen test, you may need to get a lab-processed test to confirm your results. More information is available in the section below titled "Confirmatory testing protocol."

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends follow-up testing if:

  • You have symptoms and get a negative result on your rapid antigen test.
  • You do not have symptoms and get a positive result on your rapid antigen test.

RIDOH does not recommend follow-up testing if:

  • You have symptoms and get a positive result on your rapid antigen test.
  • You do not have symptoms and get a negative result on your rapid antigen test.

Your confirmatory test must be a lab-processed nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. You cannot use a rapid NAAT or PCR test or an at-home NAAT or PCR test to confirm your rapid antigen test result.

Rhode Island has adopted this protocol in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated protocol supports Rhode Island’s effective clinical use of rapid antigen tests in different testing situations. A lab-processed test also confirms whether you and your close contacts need to isolate or quarantine.

Any State-run test site can give you a PCR test to confirm your rapid antigen test result. If you leave the test site before your rapid antigen test result is ready, you can schedule a follow-up PCR test at portal.ri.gov or by calling 401-222-8022. 

PCR tests are sent to a lab. Results are usually ready in 1 to 2 days on portal.ri.gov/results. It is very important that you stay home and away from others as much as possible while you wait for your results. Do not go to school or work.

If your confirmatory test result is negative, you are not infected with COVID-19 and may return to school or work. Contact tracing is not needed. Close contacts do not need to quarantine.

If your confirmatory test result is positive, you have COVID-19 and should isolate at home. Contact tracing is needed. Close contacts should quarantine. More information is available at covid.ri.gov/whattodo.

If you got your rapid antigen test at a K-12 school, you can go to any State-run test site to get your confirmatory test. Learn more about testing K-12 students and staff.

It is highly recommended that you get your confirmatory test on the same day you had your rapid antigen test.  If you do not get your recommended confirmatory test within 48 hours after your rapid antigen test, RIDOH will consider your positive rapid antigen test result final and start contact tracing.

At-home COVID-19 tests are now available at some stores and pharmacies in Rhode Island. You can report a positive or negative test result to RIDOH by calling the COVID-19 Info Line at 401-222-8022 and selecting option 6. Learn more about reporting at-home test results to RIDOH. 

Review these frequently asked questions about at-home testing. 

If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive, you cannot use an at-home test to shorten quarantine. Schedule a COVID-19 test at a State-run testing site on portal.ri.gov.

If you are using an at-home test because you plan to travel out of state, check with the department of health in the state or country you are traveling to for quarantine and testing requirements. Some states, countries, or airlines may not accept at-home tests as proof of a negative result. 

To lower the chances of catching and spreading COVID-19, RIDOH recommends all travelers arriving in Rhode Island follow quarantine and testing guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more about Rhode Island’s guidance for travelers.  

If you plan to travel, check with the health department in the state or country you are traveling to for quarantine and testing guidance.

  • Rhode Islanders planning to travel to a location that requires a COVID-19 test to avoid extended quarantine can schedule a test at a local pharmacy or State-run test site.
  • Since some states and airlines require a lab report as proof of a negative result, RIDOH recommends travelers schedule a PCR test. The result of this test is usually ready in two days.

If you are using an at-home test because you plan to travel out of state, check with the department of health in the state or country you are traveling to for quarantine and testing requirements. Some states, countries, or airlines may not accept at-home tests as proof of a negative result. 

Rhode Islanders travelling to Hawaii should schedule a COVID-19 test at a Walgreens Pharmacy. Tests processed through Rhode Island's COVID-19 testing program will not qualify, according to Hawaii’s travel partner criteria

Most people who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should get tested.

  • Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested after an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days and recovered do not need to get tested after an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

RIDOH recommends unvaccinated close contacts of people with COVID-19 get tested on day 5 of quarantine or later. If the result is negative, a close contact can end their quarantine after day 7 but should continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days from exposure.

If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive, you cannot use an at-home test to shorten quarantine. Schedule a COVID-19 test at a State-run testing site on portal.ri.gov or contact your healthcare provider to get tested.

Learn more about close contact quarantine requirements.