The St. Charles County Department of Public Health is conducting free testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tests are administered by appointment, and pre-registration by clicking the banner below is required. Scheduling is done by email, so please make certain that your email information is correct before submitting and check your email (including the spam folder) for 1-3 days after you register.
Testing is performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a nasopharyngeal swab to determine if there is an active infection. Please note that this test requires a swab being put in your nose, which may cause mild, temporary discomfort. This is not an antibody test, which denotes past infection.
- If you are a close contact** and you are experiencing symptoms, the optimal time to be tested is 0-4 days after the onset of your first symptom.
- If you are a close contact**, but are not experiencing any symptoms, the optimal time to be tested is 5-9 days after you were exposed to the infected person. Performing a test too soon after exposure can result in a false negative test result.
- Individuals in select industries or who have a high incidence of public contact are at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19. Testing can help to monitor the health of these individuals. These industries include individuals who work or reside in:
- Health care or a long-term care facility.
- A congregant living facility.
- Correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons.
- First responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers and firefighters.
- Critical infrastructure, including grocery stores, pharmacies, public utilities, childcare, sanitation or other public-facing jobs.
- If you are not a close contact** and are not experiencing symptoms, the Department of Public Health does not recommend that you get tested unless testing is required to participate in sports, enter your place of employment, travel to a foreign country, or enter school. If you need to be tested for one of these activities, be sure to allow at least two weeks for testing to be scheduled and results to be obtained.
- The Department of Public Health does not recommend testing more than once a month, unless you become a close contact or develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection. If these circumstances arise, follow the guidelines stated above with respect to the timing of testing.
If you do not have a current email or phone number, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 636-949-1899.
Awaiting Test Results
For those participating in this testing opportunity, the Department of Public Health requests that an individual self-isolate* while awaiting test results if you are a close contact** of someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within the past 2 weeks or if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
You are also requested to self-isolate* if you are experiencing at least 2 of the following symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Stuffy or runny nose
*Self-isolate means that you should stay indoors and completely avoid contact with other people, including others within your household, as much as possible.
**A close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting 48 hours before the person began to feel sick until the time the person was isolated.