Information about COVID-19 Test Results

If you were tested for COVID-19 at a State-run test site, you can access an official record of your result at portal.ri.gov/results. This user guide has step-by-step instructions for accessing results on the portal. If you need help getting your test results, call 401-222-8022 or email [email protected]

If you were tested at a medical office, retail pharmacy, your workplace, or in school, contact the location where you were tested for a copy of your result.

RIDOH Letter Requests: Rhode Islanders who need to provide verification of their quarantine status, isolation status, or test results may request a letter by submitting this online form. Letters will be sent by email and are usually ready in 72 hours.  Instructions  Types of Letters  

Positive self-test result

If your self-test result is positive, it means that the test detected the virus, and it is very likely that you have COVID-19. To report your self-test result to RIDOH, visit portal.ri.gov/s/selftest. 

Stay home (isolate) for at least 5 days. Someone with COVID-19 needs to isolate even if they don’t have symptoms. Only leave isolation for medical emergencies. For more information about how long you should stay home and what you should do after ending isolation, visit covid.ri.gov/whattodo.

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should get tested 5 days after when they were last with you. Your close contacts can learn about quarantine requirements and recommendations at covid.ri.gov/whattodo

Tell a healthcare provider about your positive test result and stay in contact with them.

  • There are effective treatments for COVID-19 infection. A healthcare provider can treat you for COVID-19 based on a self-test result. A healthcare provider may want to test you again to make sure your self-test result is accurate.
  • Call 911 or get yourself to the nearest hospital if you think you are having a medical emergency. This can include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, the inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Negative self-test result

If your self-test result is negative, it means that the test did not detect the virus. To report your self-test result to RIDOH, visit portal.ri.gov/s/selftest. 

  • If you took the test while you had symptoms and followed all instructions carefully, a negative result means your current illness is probably not COVID-19.
  • It is possible for someone who has COVID-19 to get a negative result on a self-test. This is called a false negative. You could also test negative if the specimen was collected too early in your infection period and could test positive later during your illness.

If you think your self-test result may be incorrect, you should test yourself again within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests. You can also get another test at a State-run test site, local pharmacy, respiratory clinic, or by a healthcare provider. You should consider getting tested again if:

  • You have symptoms and get a negative result on your self-test, or
  • You don’t have symptoms and get a positive result on your self-test.

For more information about how to get tested for COVID-19, visit covid.ri.gov/testing.

Test result turnaround time depends on several factors, including the type of test you received, the laboratory conducting the testing, and the time a specimen is collected and transported to the lab. 

  • Test results may be delayed for several reasons. For example, if the specimen is sent to an out-of-state commercial lab, labeled incorrectly, or information is missing, this could delay the processing time.
  • Some test results may be slightly delayed when the volume at State-run COVID-19 test sites increases, like before or after a holiday, after test sites are closed, or when demand for testing is high. 

If you were tested at a State-run test site:

  • Rapid test results are ready in the same day.
  • PCR test results are ready in 1 to 2 days.
    • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and isolate yourself to avoid spreading your symptoms to others while waiting for your test results. For more information about quarantine and isolation, visit this page.
  • If you need help getting your test results, call 401-222-8022 or email [email protected]

If you were tested at a medical office, retail pharmacy, your workplace, or in school, contact the location where you were tested with questions about test results. 

If you received a COVID-19 test at a State-run site, you can access an official record of your result on portal.ri.gov/results

  • This user guide has step-by-step instructions for accessing results on the portal. 
  • If you need help getting your test results, call 401-222-8022 or email [email protected]

If you were tested at a medical office, retail pharmacy, your workplace, or in school, you may need to contact the location where you were tested for a copy of your result.

  • The State does not directly operate testing programs that take place in medical offices, retail pharmacies, workplaces, or in schools. As a result, some testing programs only report positive results to the Department of Health. 
  • It is the responsibility of the location where you were tested to communicate results to you.

If you do not have symptoms but got a positive result on a rapid antigen test, RIDOH recommends getting a lab-processed test to confirm your results. Learn more about RIDOH's confirmatory testing protocol. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home (isolate) for at least 5 days. Someone with COVID-19 needs to isolate even if they don’t have symptoms. Only leave isolation for medical emergencies. For more information about how long you should stay home and what you should do after ending isolation, visit covid.ri.gov/whattodo.

  • The Rhode Island Department of Health will call you within a few days. If you learn that you are positive for COVID-19 before RIDOH calls you, take action right away. Tell people that you have been in close contact with that you have COVID-19. Your close contacts can learn about quarantine requirements and recommendations at covid.ri.gov/whattodo
  • Complete the Contact Tracing Survey on portal.ri.gov/results. This survey helps RIDOH begin the contact tracing process and identify any support you may need during isolation.

If any of your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.

If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, RIDOH does not recommend getting tested again for the following 90 days. Someone who has COVID-19 can continue to get a positive test result for up to 90 days.

  • If you need to provide proof of a current or previous infection to your school or employer, you can submit a letter request to RIDOH using this web form.
  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and new symptoms develop, call your healthcare provider, and ask if you should get tested again.

 

A negative test result means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time your sample was collected. Continue to protect your household from COVID-19.

If you start having any symptoms of COVID-19 after your test, call your healthcare provider and ask if you should be tested again.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and got a negative result on a rapid antigen test, RIDOH recommends getting a lab-processed test to confirm your test result. Learn more about RIDOH's confirmatory testing protocol. 

Get vaccinated if you're not yet. People ages 5 and older are eligible to get vaccinated in Rhode Island. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

An inconclusive test result means that you might be infected with COVID-19 and another sample is needed to determine if you are truly infected. An inconclusive result can happen if you are tested in the very early or late stages of infection when the amount of virus in your body is low. It can also happen if your swab did not collect enough of a sample.

You should isolate away from others and get tested again as soon as possible. For a list of COVID-19 testing options, visit covid.ri.gov/testing. 

RIDOH recommends getting tested again if you have symptoms and get a negative result on your rapid antigen test. 

RIDOH does not recommend getting tested again if: 

  • You have symptoms and get a positive result on your rapid antigen test. 
  • You don’t have symptoms and get a positive result on your rapid antigen test.  
  • You don’t have symptoms and get a negative result on your rapid antigen test.

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

If you have symptoms and get a negative result on both your rapid antigen and your follow-up test, you are not infected with COVID-19. Contact tracing is not needed. Close contacts do not need to quarantine. Stay home until your symptoms go away.

If you have symptoms, get a negative result on a rapid antigen test, and then get a positive result on your follow-up test, you have COVID-19 and should isolate at home. Contact tracing is needed. Close contacts should quarantine. For more information, visit covid.ri.gov/whattodo.