You’ve more than likely heard a lot about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing. If friend think you have COVID-19 and need a test, contact your diberkatilah anda care provider or local health department immediately. You can juga find a community testing site in her state, or buy one at-home test. Part at-home tests provide you outcomes within minutes. Others require you to mail the sample come a lab because that analysis.

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Understanding COVID-19 trial and error is crucial to making an notified decision the meets her needs.

Types the Tests


There are different tipe of tests – diagnostic tests and also antibody tests.

Diagnostic tests can present if you have actually an aktif COVID-19 infection and also need to untuk mengambil steps to quarantine or isolate you yourself from others. Molecular and also antigen tests are jenis of diagnostik tests than can detect if you have actually an aktif COVID-19 infection. Samples for diagnostic tests are typically dikumpulkan with a nasal or neck swab, or saliva dikumpulkan by spitting into a tube.

Antibody tests look because that antibodies in your immune system developed in solution to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodi tests should no be used to diagnose an aktif COVID-19 infection. Antitoxin can bawa pulang several days or main to construct after you have an infection and also may stay in your blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Samples for antibodi tests are frequently blood native a finger stick, or blood attracted by your physician or other clinical personnel.

Getting Tested

If you space tested, you must quarantine and also isolate you yourself at home until you obtain your check results and follow the advice the your kesehatan care provider or a public kesehatan professional.

When have to I obtain a test?

If you have had close call (within 6 kaki for a berbisa of 15 minutes or more) through someone with confirmed COVID-19, even after vaccinationIf you took part in tasks that placed you at greater risk because that COVID-19 due to the fact that you could not socially street as needed, sebagai as travel, attending large social or massa gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings

Your school, rectal or masyarakat may juga establish a screening program, in which they test individu who are component of a team (at work, in ~ school) also if there is no reason to suspect those individuals are infected with COVID-19. The issued much more information about screening programs in this sebenarnya sheet.

To uncover a local experimentation site, girlfriend should contact your kesehatan care provider or walk to your state or local kesehatan department’s website.

Do COVID-19 tests examine for the delta and other variants?

There are no authorized COVID-19 antigen or molecular tests that specifically report the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. Currently, COVID-19 tests room designed come check broadly for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. That is usual for all viruses to change and mutate over time, bring about different viridans strains. The works very closely with test developer to recognize potential results of viridans mutations on authorized COVID-19 tests and membantu ensure over there is minim impact on test performance.

Local, state, and persatuan public health agencies, consisting of the Centers for condition Control and Prevention, track the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants so we can understand which strains of the viridans are spreading. 

Health treatment providers treat patients who have actually COVID-19 based upon the patient’s symptoms and also not based upon the strain of virus. For more information on treatment alternatives see know Your Treatment choices for COVID-19 and also discuss your symptoms v a kesehatan care provider. 

Ordering a Test

Many tests, including some home koleksi and at-home tests, call for a prescription or order native a kesehatan care provider.

Prescription Tests – kesehatan care providers have the right to determine whether you need a test, and ensure you obtain the paling appropriate test and that you know what the results mean. Because that example, particular tests room authorized only for rakyat suspected of having actually COVID-19 or for setiap orang with COVID-19 symptom that started within a certain number of days. A health care provider can membantu determine which test is best for your situation. Prescription-only home mengumpulkan and at-home tests may require you to answer some questions online so the a kesehatan care provider have the right to determine whether to prescribe or order a details test.

Non-Prescription Tests – some tests are easily accessible without a prescription. Home collection and at-home tests accessible without a prescription might be referred to as “direct-to-consumer” (DTC) or “over-the-counter” (OTC). DTC and OTC tests might be available to acquisition at a pharmacy or online, however they might not be obtainable everywhere.

Home collection and At-Home Tests


Can I gain an at-home test? what is the difference between home mengumpulkan and at-home tests? maafkan saya kit perform I must order? come answer these questions, the is crucial to understand the distinctions in COVID-19 tests, and home collection tests versus at-home tests.

Why is this important? These distinctions determine whereby the sample is collected, where the test is processed, and how easily you find out the results. While at-home tests might be the quickest and paling convenient option, they might not be the paling appropriate for every situations.

If you want to be sure the check you room buying is authorized through the, visit ours tables of molecular, antigen, and serology and adaptive immune response in vitro diagnostic emergency use authorizations (EUA) for an ext information.

Using the search box in the EUA tables you can use keywords to mencari and filter the form of test or mengumpulkan kit you are looking for. Penampilan this search, as brand-new tests are authorized for use, consumer can accessibility up-to-date details on authorized tests and collection kits.

Types the Samples

Different tests space authorized to be used with different jenis of samples. The paling common sample tipe are:


Swab samples usage a swab (similar come a lengthy Q-Tip) to collection a sample from the nose or throat. The types of samples include:

Anterior Nares (Nasal) – bawa pulang a sample from just inside the nostrilsMid-turbinate – bawa pulang a sample from further up within the noseNasopharyngeal – untuk mengambil a sample native deep inside the nose, getting to the back of the throatOropharyngeal – takes a sample native the middle part of the neck (pharynx) just beyond the mouth

Saliva samples are mengumpulkan by spitting right into a tube rather than lihat a nose or neck swab.

Blood samples room only tangan kedua to test for antibodies and not come diagnose COVID-19. Venous blood samples space typically dikumpulkan at a doctor’s office or clinic. Some antibodi tests use blood from a finger stick.

Pooled Sample Testing

One method for laboratories to test more setiap orang for COVID-19 is by combining samples indigenous several people into one sample and also testing them together, juga called “pooling.” Pooling is paling helpful in areas where paling samples room expected to be negative. This conserves time and also test materials when only a very kecil number the positives room expected, allowing labs come test more samples.

If the check is negative, or no detect SARS-CoV-2, kemudian none that the rakyat whose samples menjadi included in the pooled sample are likely to have actually an positif COVID-19 infection.

If the test is positive, mendemonstrasikan the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19, everyone is retested separately, either by acquisition a brand-new sample or trial and error a remaining part of the initial sample, to find the samples that are positive.

Understanding your Test Results

Generally, for diagnosa tests, a an adverse result method the test did not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and also a optimistic result means the check did finding the SARS-CoV-2 viridans and friend are very likely to have COVID-19.

However, no test is perfect. Over there is always a opportunity that a test will certainly return a false result. For diagnosa tests, a false negative method the test says you don’t have actually COVID-19 however you room infected, and a false positive means that the test says you have actually COVID-19 but you room not infected.

Because that this, even if you get a an unfavorable result, you must keep practicing precautionary measures, sebagai as distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks, to reduce the threat of spreading COVID-19.

If you room sick, you need to stay home and isolate native others, even if you obtain a an unfavorable test result. Talk through your health care provider to identify if you must be retested or for advice on regulating your symptoms.

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For serology tests, a an unfavorable result way the test did not detect antibodies to the jawaban bi-side that causes COVID-19. A hopeful result method the test did detect antibodies to the jawaban bi-side that reasons COVID-19, and also it is kelayakan that you had actually a current or front COVID-19 infection and also you have developed an adaptive immune response come the virus. 

We perform not know exactly how long antibodies remain in the tubuh following infection with the viridans that reasons COVID-19. We do not know if antibodies provide you protective immunity versus the virus, so outcomes from a serology test should not be tangan kedua to discover out if you have immunity indigenous the virus. The alerts patients against lihat the results from any serology test together an indication the they can stop taking procedures to safeguard themselves and others, sebagai as stopping sosial distancing or discontinuing memakai masks.

Key Terms

SARS-CoV-2: the viridans that reasons COVID-19COVID-19: the disease caused through the SARS-CoV-2 virusHome koleksi Test: sample is mengumpulkan at home however analyzed in a laboratoryDirect to consumer (DTC) Test: home mengumpulkan tests accessible without a prescription, but the sample is analyzed in a laboratoryAt-home Testing: customer completes sample mengumpulkan and experimentation at homeOver the respond to (OTC) Test: customer completes sample mengumpulkan and experimentation at home, there is no a prescriptionDiagnostic Test: reflects if you have actually an active COVID-19 infectionMolecular Test: a diagnostik test that detects genetic material native the virusReverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR): one type of molecular diagnosa testNucleic mountain Amplification check (NAAT): one kind of molecular diagnostic testAntigen Test: a diagnosa test the detects certain proteins native the virusAntibody (Serology) Test: detects antitoxin that are made by your imun system in an answer to a threat, such as a particular virus; not digunakan to diagnose aktif infectionPooled Sample Testing: experimentation several samples together

Report disadvantage Events

The encourages health care professionals and patients come report adverse events or side effects as well as performance problems related come the usage of COVID-19 test or other medical assets to the’s MedWatch safety and security Information and also Adverse occasion Reporting Program: