In one recent week, a New Yorker got a free covid-19 test in a jiffy, with results the next day, while a Coloradan had to shell out $50 for a test two cities from her hometown after a frantic round of pharmacy-hopping. A Montanan drove an hour each way to get a test, wondering if, this time, it would again take five days to get results. While covid testing is much easier to come by than it was early in the pandemic, the ability to get a test — and timely results — can vary widely nationwide.

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