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Wear The Gown: The importance of getting tested for coronavirus and where to get a test for free

There are 16 locations with free testing for anybody in Bexar County.

SAN ANTONIO — If you think you have the coronavirus or may have been exposed to it, getting a test is of the utmost importance.

The best way to avoid the coronavirus is to stay home and away from others. But the City says if you think you have caught the virus, the next step is to get that test. 

"We are just encouraging anyone that would like to get tested to please go out and seek out the services," said Miguel Cervantes the Public Health Administrator for the Communicable Disease Division with Metro Health. 

He says because the City is so dedicated to beating the coronavirus they offer free testing sites.

 "It's very important to have these additional test sites so that we try to illuminate any barrier that an individual might have to accessing the testing and making sure they are provided free of cost to the public,"  Cervantes said.

There are dozens of sites that offer testing across San Antonio, 16 of them are free, and three are run by the City. The results typically come back within 24 to 48 hours. 

"If it is a negative test they will send the results via text message and if it's positive you'll receive a phone call from our team at San Antonio's Metro Health," Cervantes said.

From there they conduct contact tracing to find out who you may have come into contact with to let them know if they need a test, or need to quarantine themselves.

"That typically entails an interview with the individual who tests positive and trying to obtain information on individuals that person may have been around when they were infectious," Cervantes said.

You don't need insurance to get a test, but you do need to plan ahead. 

"Registration and an appointment are necessary you just have to call ahead of time to make that appointment," he added.

For the complete list of the free testing sites and sites with costs that vary check out the Metro Health COVID testing site here: https://covid19.sanantonio.gov/What-YOU-Can-Do/Testing#locations-list

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.