COVID-19 Testing Expanded to All Symptomatic Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — With Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing capacity now expanded, all Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to call a healthcare provider to get scheduled for a test.

It is critical that people who are experiencing symptoms also self-isolate and have as little contact with others as possible.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include any of these symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea. People with COVID-19 have experienced a range of different symptoms. As we learn more about the virus, we know that some people with COVID-19 have only experienced one or two mild symptoms.

Currently, a person can only be tested for COVID-19 in Rhode Island if testing is ordered by a healthcare provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call an urgent care center. Call first before going to a healthcare facility (unless it is an emergency).

The expanded approach of testing all people with symptoms represents a significant change. COVID-19 testing in Rhode Island had previously been limited to the members of certain priority populations who are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 (such as nursing home residents), or who are members of Rhode Island’s critical infrastructure workforce (such as healthcare workers). This increase in testing capacity gives Rhode Island the opportunity to test more people with symptoms and to get a better idea of how much virus is circulating in Rhode Island.

The expanded number of tests that Rhode Island can now process are being run at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories and at several hospital and private laboratories.


  1. Why do we need to see our own doctor first .if you don’t feel well what’s the harm in getting tested better safe the sorry.

  2. From what I understand, state and health officials don’t want to overwhelm healthcare workers at testing sites and create a crowd at a testing site. By contacting your doctor first, who has a record of your health history, they can better assess if you need to be tested or not.

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