Consultant Travel – Covid Home & Airport testing options

Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa (Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

With state restrictions and client testing requirements, Covid-19 testing has become essential for continued consultant travel. Having just completed my first business travel in 9 months, I found two great options, home testing before travel and airport testing when returning home. Both provided an easy solution.

The FDA has recognized several home testing options.  I opted for Everlywell as they were the first to gain authorization for a standalone at-home testing collection kit.  If you live in a state that requires a negative test within 72 hours of returning home, taking a 2nd test at the airport is perfect combination to meet requirements and give you a peace of mind.  Let’s first talk about home testing.

The kits are simple and truly self-explanatory. It took perhaps 3 minutes to pop open the box, swab both nostrils, and seal in box.  Kit comes with pre-paid return shipping label via FebEx or UPS.  One thing that was tricky was timing.  You need to have your results back before you fly, and must take within 5 days of intended travel. Plus you cannot mail in your test on the weekend.  My flight was Monday, so I mailed my test on Thursday before and received results on Monday.  It was cutting it close.  Should have mailed it one day earlier to be exactly the 5 day window. 

Options for COVID-19 home test kits include:

A significant number of U.S. airports are offering COVID-19 testing options.  Most clients are asking for evidence of negative test prior to being able to show up for a contract.  So these tests can assist consultants with client requirements that are heading to, or arriving in, destinations where proof of negative COVID-19 test results are required.  These will also will help with state travel restrictions.  I completed mine at the Tampa Airport.  Waited in line for less than 5 minutes, nurse handed me nasal swab and had me do it myself.  Sat outside and waited about 20 minutes to receive my printed negative results.  It was quick, simple, and very well organized.

Here are a list of airports and specifics regarding available testing:

Alaska

Airports in Alaska offer coronavirus testing as part of that state’s entry requirements. In order to forgo an otherwise mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, travelers can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result for a test that was taken within 72 hours before their arrival, or they can take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Alaska. (They have to quarantine until the results are ready.) The testing is free for Alaska residents, but nonresidents have to pay $250 for a test at the airport. There are testing facilities at:

Juneau International Airport

Location: Airport lower level near baggage claim

The testing site at the airport in Juneau is open between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and is also staffed during flight arrivals. You can register for a test in advance online.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Location: Level 1 next to baggage claim carousel 3

COVID-19 testing at the Anchorage airport is available 24/7. You need to register for a test online.

Arizona

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Location: Terminal 4, Level 3 inside Drugs & More (presecurity)

An XpresCheck center offering COVID-19 testing is open Thursdays to Mondays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The testing is available to travelers, airport employees, and members of the public, who can schedule online or opt for a walk-in visit. Visits take about 20 minutes.

XpresCheck offers several COVID-19 testing options: a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for $75 (the results can take 2–3 days to arrive); a rapid molecular test that can produce results within 15 minutes, for $200; and antibody tests for $75. You can  get a PCR and antibody test at a cost of $90 together. The facilities also offer rapid flu, strep throat, and mono tests (for $25 each) and a flu shot (for $50).

XpresCheck will attempt to bill health insurance first for any testing and will then send a bill to customers for the remaining balance, if there is one. Through the end of December, Phoenix residents who do not have health insurance that covers the service will have the service supplemented.

California

Los Angeles International Airport

Locations: Tom Bradley International Terminal on the Departures level at the counters located in Aisle C, north side of the terminal (presecurity); Terminal 2 Arrivals level near the information booth (presecurity); and Terminal 6 Arrivals level near the information booth (presecurity)

At LAX, Clarity Lab Solutions is offering standard polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 tests using a nasal swab with results ready within 24 hours and provided by email. The COVID-19 tests cost $150 each and are available to anyone. The airport’s testing facilities offer walk-in services daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Oakland International Airport

Location: Drive-up tests at North Field complex located at 9070 Earhart Road, Oakland

The North Field location is open to the general public and airport employees daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can schedule an appointment three days or less prior to your flight (though same-day appointments are not recommended) at the CityHealth website.

San Diego International Airport

Location: Valet Parking area at 2375 Airlane Road, San Diego 

COVID-19 testing is available at this San Diego airport parking area only for Alaska Airlines passengers flying to Hawaii. Testing takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, and test results are ready by 2 p.m. the following day. It costs $170 and you have to show proof of your Alaska flight details.

San Francisco International Airport

Location: International Terminal (presecurity)

United Airlines passengers heading to Hawaii and Cathay Pacific Airways passengers can get tested through a Dignity Health–GoHealth Urgent Care at SFO. The dedicated COVID-19 testing area at SFO is located in the main hall of the international terminal prior to security and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Results are ready in less than an hour. The in-person tests for United passengers heading to Hawaii have a $250 price tag.

Connecticut

Bradley International Airport

Location: Baggage claim area between vestibule doors 4 and 5, across from baggage claim belts 5 and 6.

Passengers arriving in Connecticut from states with high levels of coronavirus transmission don’t have to submit to an otherwise mandatory 14-day quarantine period if they procure a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut or after arriving in the state.

Genesys Diagnostics is providing the COVID-19 PCR testing at the airport through a “minimally invasive” anterior nasal swab. Results are typically available within 3 days but can take up to 10 days to receive. Testing is only available to passengers traveling through the airport on the day of their flight. The facility is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Making a reservation online is strongly recommended. For travelers who don’t have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the test, the cost is $125.

Florida

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

Location: Terminal 3 on the lower level near baggage claim (presecurity)

Operated by Nomi Health of Utah, this testing service is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. To get tested, travelers must show proof of their flight into or out of the Fort Lauderdale airport. You can register online for an appointment for a rapid antigen test with results ready in 30 minutes (for $69), or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test with results ready within 48 hours (for $99).

Tampa International Airport

Location: Main Terminal near the Airside F shuttle (presecurity)

As of October 1, all departing and arriving passengers at Tampa International Airport can take a COVID-19 test at the Florida hub. A new testing site that was created in partnership with BayCare Health System is located inside Tampa’s Main Terminal. It offers both the rapid antigen test and PCR test. Any traveler can purchase either test regardless of their airline or destination. The PCR tests cost $125 and the antigen tests cost $57.

Testing services will be offered daily on a walk-in basis between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. This was initially a pilot program slated to run through October 31, 2020, but it has been extended at least through the end of the year. It will be available to all ticketed passengers who are flying or have flown within three days and can show proof of travel.

Hawaii

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu)

Location: Diamond Head Tour Group Area just past baggage claim carousel 31

The COVID-19 testing at the Honolulu airport is available to adults and children over the age of five for $125. No appointment is needed and the site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Results are available within three to six hours.

Illinois

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (coming soon)

Location: A walk-up presecurity testing site will be adjacent to the main terminal core, and there will be a drive-up site in a remote parking lot as well.

 Starting in late December, O’Hare will begin offering COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, with results available in 20 minutes, and PCR tests with results available within 72 hours. Simple Laboratories will be providing the tests, which will be available to both travelers and airport employees.

Chicago Midway International Airport (coming soon)

Location: There will be a walk-up testing site within the terminal at Midway.

By late December, Midway will begin offering COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, with results available in 20 minutes, and PCR tests with results available within 72 hours, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. The tests will be available to both travelers and airport employees.

Maine

Portland International Jetport

Location: Level 1 (ground level)

The Portland airport is offering $25 one-hour rapid testing to Maine residents and visitors, as well as PCR tests (with results available in three days) free of charge. Appointments are required and the facility is open daily, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Massachusetts

Boston Logan International Airport

Location: Terminal E, Arrivals level, near Door E107 (presecurity)

The XpresCheck facility at Boston Logan is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The testing is available to travelers, airport employees and members of the public, who can schedule one on the XpresCheck website or do a walk-in visit.

XpresCheck offers several COVID-19 testing options: a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for $75 (the results can take 2–3 days to arrive); a rapid molecular test that can produce results within 15 minutes, for $200; and antibody tests for $75. You can get a PCR and antibody test at a cost of $90 together. The facilities also offer rapid flu, strep throat, and mono tests (for $25 each) and a flu shot (for $50).

Michigan

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Location: Airport’s economy parking lot

The Grand Rapids, Michigan, airport this month introduced a drive-up COVID-19 testing site that offers both rapid antigen tests (for $75) with results in 15 minutes and PCR tests (for $125) with results within 24 to 48 hours. You can get both for $160—health insurance is not accepted. No appointment is needed and the TACKL Health-backed site is open to anyone (not just travelers or staff) from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Minnesota

Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport

Location: Lobby area on Level 2 of the Blue Ramp. Drive to Terminal 1 and at the entrance to the parking ramps follow the signs for the clinic location, which is on Level 2 of the Blue Ramp. You can park in the lanes designated for COVID-19 testing. Walk to the centrally located elevator lobby and follow signs to the testing site.

Testing at this site backed by the Minnesota Department of Health is free for Minnesotans and $94 for out-of-state residents. The saliva tests are conducted by Vault Medical Services, which asks that you not eat, drink, chew, or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes prior to providing your sample. This process takes about 15 minutes and you can expect to receive test results within a few days via email. The testing site is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Online reservations are encouraged but walk-ins are also welcome.

New Jersey

Newark Liberty International Airport

Location: Terminal B on Level 3 near the front entrance (presecurity)

The XpresCheck facility at Newark is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The testing is available to travelers, airport employees, and members of the public, who can schedule an appointment on the XpresCheck website or do a walk-in visit.

XpresCheck offers several COVID-19 testing options: a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for $75 (the results can take 2–3 days to arrive); a rapid molecular test that can produce results within 15 minutes, for $200; and antibody tests for $75. You can get a PCR and antibody test at a cost of $90 together. The facilities also offer rapid flu, strep throat, and mono tests (for $25 each) and a flu shot (for $50).

New York

In New York, the amount of time out-of-state arrivals have to quarantine can be reduced from 14 days to just 3 with testing.

Albany International Airport

Location: Lower level of the airport

Airport staff can get tested at this site for free, and travelers can get a saliva swab PCR test for between $30 and $60.  

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Location 1: Terminal 4 on Level 1 near Central Diner in the Arrivals Hall (presecurity)

XpresCheck opened its first COVID-19 testing facility at JFK, which is located in Terminal 4  before security so passengers can access it whether or not they are flying into or out of Terminal 4.

The facility offers polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests (also known as nasal swab tests), which cost $75; rapid molecular tests that can produce results within 15 minutes, which cost $200; and antibody tests for $75. You can get a PCR and antibody test at a cost of $90 together. XpresCheck will attempt to bill health insurance first for any testing and will then send a bill to customers for the remaining balance, if there is one. The facility also offers rapid flu, strep throat, and mono tests (for $25 each) and a flu shot (for $50).

Travelers should note that results for the PCR tests could take up to two to three days to arrive. XpresCheck recommends that you make a reservation for a test in advance online, though walk-ins are accepted.

Location 2: JetBlue Terminal 5

The NYC Test & Trace Corps, New York’s COVID-19 public health initiative, has partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JetBlue to open a free COVID-19 testing site in the carrier’s JFK terminal. The site offers walk-in PCR testing daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Results are typically made available within 48 hours.

LaGuardia Airport

Location: First floor of the Terminal B parking garage (presecurity)

A testing facility at LaGuardia Airport has been set up by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in conjunction with NYC Health & Hospitals as part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to grow the number of complimentary testing sites throughout the state. The testing site is free for all passengers, and no insurance is required.

The center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and no appointment is needed. PCR tests (with nose swabs) are administered by NYC Health & Hospitals clinicians; results can be expected via phone within 48 hours.

Oregon

Portland International Airport

Location: Valet Parking area at 7000 NE Airport Way, Portland 

COVID-19 testing is available at the Portland airport only for Alaska Airlines passengers flying to Hawaii. Testing takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, and test results are ready within two hours. It costs $135 and you must show proof of your Alaska flight details.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia International Airport

Location: Terminal E to the left of the security checkpoint (presecurity)

The airport’s Jefferson Health COVID-19 Testing Clinic offers passengers flying out of the Philadelphia hub an antigen test (with same-day results) for $70 or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (with results ready in 2–3 days) for $130. This facility is not able to bill insurance. Testing is available 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and appointments are not available or required. Those interested can preregister online.

Texas

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Location: Inside Terminal D between gates D40 and B1 (postsecurity)

American Airlines is offering preflight COVID-19 tests for travelers flying from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Hawaii.

The options for getting tested prior to a Dallas–Hawaii flight with American are an at-home test kit provided by LetsGetChecked (with results provided within 48 hours on average) that costs $129, including shipping; in-person testing at a CareNow urgent care location in the Dallas area (for a cost of $150); or a $249 rapid-result test administered by CareNow at the DFW airport inside Terminal D.

Vermont

Burlington International Airport

Location: Just north of the terminal at 481 White Street, South Burlington (near the cell phone lot)

Garnet Health has set up shop at the Vermont airport; it offers rapid COVID-19 and flu testing to travelers as well as to the general public. The outpost is providing PCR testing with results in 36 to 48 hours, rapid antigen testing with same-day results, and rapid influenza tests with same-day results. Garnet is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can bill health insurance for the services.

Washington

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Location: Central auditorium, mezzanine level above TSA checkpoint 3 (presecurity)

Discovery Health MD at SEA has made testing available to ticketed passengers (both inbound and outbound) traveling through the Seattle airport. The clinic is offering COVID-19 PCR tests for $250 with same- and next-day results. Those who are interested must make an appointment in advance online up to 72 hours prior to travel. The clinic is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thank you to Afar Travel Magazine for airport details.

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