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COVID-19 Testing Guidance

Updated March 13, 2024

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised their respiratory virus guidance.

Testing is identified as “a choice,” recognizing that many are not currently testing, and that other common viral infections (e.g. flu) do not have easily available tests. Still, COVID tests may provide valuable information that may influence your behavior.

Testing remains important especially if you are at increased risk of more severe COVID (over age 50, immunocompromised, or with certain conditions) and are a candidate for anti-viral treatment with Paxlovid, if you have high risk individuals at home, or if you are a healthcare worker. 


Rapid Antigen Tests (At-Home Kits)

  • Yale Health continues to recommend at-home testing with a rapid antigen test as a first choice when experiencing symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection or in other recommended situations
  • Rapid antigen test kits are available for purchase at Yale Health’s Pharmacy at a greatly reduced price, $5 per test kit (about half of the retail cost). Prices may be subject to change in the future.
  • Yale Health will not reimburse the costs of rapid antigen tests purchased after May 11, 2023.
  • If you are currently enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can use it to pay for rapid antigen test kits. If you are not, the next opportunity to enroll is during Yale’s Annual Benefits Enrollment period in December 2024.
  • The university has made free rapid antigen tests available to faculty, staff, and students. Individuals may pick up tests by showing a valid Yale ID at the following locations
  • Note: The expiration date of your home test may have been extended. Search the manufacturer or FDA website for more information.

PCR (Laboratory) Tests

  • PCR testing is no longer available through Yale New Haven Health’s self-scheduling portal. 
  • If you have symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection, perform a rapid antigen test first. If your rapid antigen test is negative and you may be eligible for antiviral treatment or your symptoms persist, call your primary care clinician. An order for a PCR test will be placed if needed.
  • PCR testing by out-of-network providers will not be reimbursed by Yale Health.
  • The cost of PCR testing for administrative purposes (travel, work, daycare, etc.) will not be covered by Yale Health.

Close Contact Guidance

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, notify your close contacts so they can take steps to protect themselves.