Editor's note: This story was last updated on Monday, April 12, 2021. 

If you are need of a COVID-19 test, there are several free testing locations throughout Pima County.

There are also one-day pop-up sites where you can walk up for a test and do not need to make an appointment.

You can likely schedule an appointment either same-day or within a couple of days. 

At the county-run COVID-19 testing centers, anyone who wants a test can get one without a doctor's orders regardless of whether they have symptoms. Testing at these sites is available for anyone ages 5 and up. 

If you're looking for information about where to get a COVID-19 vaccine go here

Here's what else to know about getting a free test. 

Who should get a test?

The health department recommends testing for anyone who was within six feet of a person who had the virus for 15 minutes or more. You should take a test between 4-7 days after exposure. 

If you are tested you should remain at home and self-quarantine until you receive your results. 

Where can you get a free test?

There are several locations that offer free testing in different areas of Tucson run by the county and other community partners. Each site has different hours of operations but between them all there is an opportunity to get a test every day of the week.

Many sites require that you make an appointment in advance, while some will offer walk-up testing.

Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 7-11 a.m. 

Registration is required. Make an appointment online here

Tucson International Airport site, 6868 S. Plumer Ave. 

Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Test type: Nasal swab

Appointments are required. Make an appointment online here or by calling 855-452-2346

Paradigm Labs Testing Center, 6009 E. Grant Road

Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Test type: Nasal swap

Appointments are required. Make an appointment online here or by calling 855-452-2346

Downtown Tucson Testing Center, 88 E. Broadway

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Test type: Nasal swab

Appointments are required. Make an appointment online here or by calling 855-452-2346

Ellie Towne Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road

For this test you should be well-hydrated, rinse your mouth with water and refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment. You'll be asked for your photo ID and the QR code from your appointment confirmation. You'll be given a test tube and straw and asked to fill the tube with saliva to a certain line, then you hand it back to staff and can leave. 

Hours: Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 7 a.m. to noon

Test type: Saliva

Appointments are preferred. See the schedule and make an appointment online

Pop-up testing centers

You can get a test without making an appointment at temporary testing centers throughout the county. The Pima County Health Department keeps an updated list of pop-up sites on its website, check it frequently for new locations. Results are available between 3-5 days at these locations. 

Other testing options

Search the Arizona Department of Health Services website to find other providers like urgent care offices and pharmacies that offer COVID-19 testing. Criteria, billing and registration requirements vary by location. 

The University of Arizona offers free tests for its students and employees, if you fall in these categories you can register online here

What to bring

Pack your face mask and your photo ID.

For some sites you may be given a QR code when you register, be sure to have that handy when you check in. 

If you arrive early, wait in your car or outside the building distanced away from others until your appointment time. 

How long do you have to wait for your results?

In most cases test results are available within 48 hours. The turnaround time at the pop-up sites is 3-5 days.  

Still have questions?

Find the most up-to-date COVID-19 county testing center information here. Find a full list of other COVID-19 information and resources from the county here.

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