Modified on: Wed, 9 Dec, 2020 at 1:25 PM
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the nation, you might question whether you should get tested or not.
Below are considerations for who should get tested:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have had close contact with someone with a positive test result
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department
According to the CDC, the two types of tests available for COVID-19 are listed below:
- A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
- An Antibody test checks your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
If you test positive for the viral COVID-19, know what protective steps to take if you are sick.
- Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care.
- Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you have questions about your health.
If you test negative for the viral COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. This does not mean you will not get sick:
- A negative test result only means you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing, or your sample was collected too early in your infection.
- You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test, get infected and spread the virus to others.
- If you have symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
If you test positive for an antibody test, you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means.
If you test negative for an antibody test, you may not have ever had COVID-19.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and what your result means.
Whether you test positive or negative for COVID-19 antibody/viral test, you should take preventive measures to protect yourself and others. Wear a mask, wash hands often, stay 6 feet from others.
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