You may need to be tested for COVID-19 for different reasons. These include having been confirmed as a close contact of someone who is infected or having symptoms that may be a sign of COVID-19 infection.
Emergency rooms and walk-in clinics are very busy right now with people who are sick with COVID-19 and other illnesses or injuries. You should not go to one of these locations just for a COVID-19 test if you are not sick or have only mild symptoms (you wouldn't ordinarily go to a doctor).
Where can you get a test?
Tests are available in several locations across our region.
Metro-Nashville has 2 testing locations open. Learn more.
Find other places to get a test near you.
- Over-the-counter tests that you can do at home are also available at retail locations.
Vanderbilt Health offers testing at its One Hundred Oaks location (see question below). This is only for those with a confirmed exposure and/or symptoms.
Below find common questions about being tested for COVID-19.
If you or your child have ANY life-threatening symptoms, call 911. This includes:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or lethargy
- Bluish lips or face
If you or your child feel sick and you do NOT have life-threatening symptoms, get a COVID test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing for:
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19.
- Most people who've had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This is defined as being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
- Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3 to 5 days after a known exposure to someone who's suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 and wear a mask in indoor settings for 14 days or until they get a negative test result.
- People who've tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months and have recovered don't need to be tested again after exposure as long as they don't develop new symptoms.
- Unvaccinated people who've taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they can't physically distance as needed to avoid exposure. This includes travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings.
- People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their health care provider or state, tribal, local external icon, or territorial health department.
If you get tested because you have symptoms of COVID-19 or were possibly exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others while you wait for your test result.
Follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
If you have a confirmed exposure or have only mild symptoms (wouldn't ordinarily see a doctor)
We offer walk-in testing at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks, 719 Thompson Lane, in Nashville. This is testing only -- no assessment by a health care provider is available at this location.
This service is for anyone age 2 or older who:
- Has a confirmed exposure to someone with COVID
- Needs a COVID test to return to work or school after quarantine.
- Has mild symptoms.
- Needs COVID-19 testing before a surgery or procedure at a Vanderbilt location (more info below).
Directions and parking: We suggest parking near Entrance C. Enter the mall at Entrance D. Testing is offered in the first-floor conference room behind the escalators.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon.
COVID-19 test results: We do high-throughput testing at this site. Results will be available in My Health at Vanderbilt within 24-48 hours, depending on testing volume. No test results will be made available by phone call.
Cost: Your insurance will be billed for a lab visit.
If you’re sick
A health provider at one of our walk-in clinics or clinics at Walgreens locations can see you and decide if you should be tested.
Appointments to talk with a provider about whether you should be tested are ONLY available at our walk-in clinics and our Vanderbilt Health clinics at Walgreens.
Because of high demand at these locations, you should expect longer-than-usual waits. We appreciate your understanding during this challenging time.
Yes, we’ll register you as a Vanderbilt Health patient and give you access to My Health at Vanderbilt while you are there for your test.
This guidance follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anyone can do an at-home test, which are widely at retail stores. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
If you test positive, isolate and let those you've been around know you've tested positive. Also be sure to let your health care provider know that you’ve tested positive. If you develop symptoms or start feeling sick at any point, be sure to let them know.
Many procedures and surgeries require a COVID-19 test before the surgery or procedure.
- procedures that involve deep sedation or general anesthesia, including upper or advanced endoscopy in any setting
- lower endoscopy (e.g., colonoscopies or flexible sigmoidoscopies) performed in a hospital setting
- procedures that require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Vanderbilt Health pre-procedure testing process
All tests must be done between 48 and 72 hours before the procedure. This is more important than ever because of the number of tests currently being done.
If you’re not tested or if the result isn't ready on the day of your procedure, the procedure may be postponed until we can get a result.
To avoid delays or the need for another test, try to get your test at our Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks location at 719 Thompson Lane in Nashville (see question above, "How can I get tested at Vanderbilt Health?"). This walk-in location is open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
For the safety of others, please come to the testing center by yourself. If others come with you, they need to stay in the car while you go inside. Do not use public transportation or ride-share. Please bring a government-issued photo ID.
How will I get my COVID-19 test result?
Your test result will be available in My Health at Vanderbilt within 1 hour after it’s finalized by our lab. If you don’t yet have an MHAV account, go to the MHAV page and click “create a new account.”
What if I go to a non-Vanderbilt location for testing?
It is preferred that you get your test at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. If you are unable to do that, and must use a non-Vanderbilt location for testing, make sure you get a PCR test from the nose or mouth. We won't accept any other test results. This includes results from at-home, antigen, and blood tests.
If your results are negative, you'll need to bring your results when you come for your procedure. If your results are positive, please notify your provider.