Getting a COVID-19 test is important because it can help confirm a case of the illness. This test can be performed in the comfort of your own home or at a medical facility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing five days after an exposure. You may be asked to participate in contact tracing. This is a key part of limiting the spread of infectious diseases.
The first step to getting a COVID-19 test is to contact your healthcare provider or pharmacy. You may also contact your local health department. They will be able to direct you to a testing site. Your doctor may also suggest a test, depending on the symptoms you have. A COVID-19 nasal swab test may be conducted at a physician’s office or laboratory. It must be approved by the local health department.
A COVID-19 antigen test is a rapid test that can detect the NAAT. An antigen test is a much better option than a PCR test, which can take several days to produce results. The reason is that an antigen test can detect a virus as early as five days after an infection. If you have a positive test, you will have an infection and should take steps to protect yourself and others. You can also use the results to determine if you need to stay home from work.
A COVID-19 antibody test is a more specific test than a PCR test. It will detect specific antibodies produced in response to an injection or vaccination. These tests can aid in diagnosing the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MSIS) in children and adults. If you have been vaccinated, you may be more susceptible to the virus, but a positive antibody test will not indicate that you are immune to the virus.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should immediately seek testing. You should avoid being around other people until the day after the test. If you have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with the illness, you should wear a mask for five days. You should also practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly. Depending on the severity of your illness, you may need to isolate yourself for a longer period.
You can also get a rapid antigen test through your employer or through your school district. If you are in Medicare or Medicaid, you can also get a free at-home test at a testing center in your area. You will receive a lab-based confirmatory NAAT if the antigen test is positive.
You should wait for at least five days before getting a COVID-19 test. This is because the virus is concentrated in the nose and throat during the early stages of the infection. If you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the illness, you may be asked to participate in contact tracing.