At-home COVID tests available, steps to take if test is positive

With the White House launching a program to deliver half a billion COVID-19 tests straight to Americans’ homes and Governor Greg Gianforte securing 650,000 at-home COVID-19 tests for Montanans, the Missoula City-County Health Department offered guidance on what residents should do if they test positive at home.

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. They can be ordered online at and usually ship in 7-12 days. The website also provides information about other testing resources if a COVID-19 test is needed immediately, another type of COVID-19 test is needed or more than four tests are needed.

The Health Department said there are three important steps residents who test positive at home should follow: isolate themselves, inform their close contacts they tested positive and fill out a form for the Health Department. The website provides thorough, but easy-to-understand guidance on these steps.

“The health department’s COVID-19 website provides a roadmap for positive individuals and close contacts,” says Incident Commander Cindy Farr. “We want residents to make use of this valuable resource.”

Isolation is when a person who tests positive for COVID-19 separates themselves from others in their household. Isolation instructions can be found under the “COVID+ / Close Contacts” tab on under “I tested positive.” Close contacts can find instructions on how long they should quarantine, if they need to, under the “I’m a close contact” button.

Lastly, residents should report positive results by going to and clicking on the “COVID+ / Close Contacts” button, then clicking on “I tested positive at home.” On that page, they’ll find a form they should fill out for the Health Department.

The Health Department does not collect data on negative results. If individuals have COVID-19 symptoms, but test negative at home, they are encouraged to book a PCR testing appointment.

Individuals looking to ask the Health Department further questions or request a follow-up test can call 406-258-4636.

Free, drive-up COVID-19 testing, for those with symptoms or those who are a close contact to a positive case, is available at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation Parking Lot Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. In Missoula, please call 406-258-4636 to book an appointment to be tested at the 3665 W. Broadway location.


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