All You Need To Know About Coronavirus Tests

Posted on: 17 May 2021

Coronavirus is a serious global health challenge. The rate of infections and deaths resulting from coronavirus is alarming. Given the virus's human-to-human transmission, protection from the disease is an ongoing safety concern. The first line of defense is knowing your status through a coronavirus test. There are various standardized tests in the market that provide reliable testing for coronavirus infection. This post offers insights into coronavirus testing services.

When Should You Test for Coronavirus? 

Consider getting a COVID-19 test in the following situations: 

  • If you exhibit coronavirus symptoms such as fever, dry cough, exhaustion, or shortness of breath
  • If you have come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • If you have participated in a high-risk event such as a social gathering or if you have traveled recently
  • If the health department requests you get tested

However, you may not need to get tested in the following situations: 

  • You have been vaccinated
  • You recently tested positive in the past three months and recovered from the infection

Types of COVID-19 Tests

Molecular Tests

There are two primary molecular tests, RT-PCR and antigen tests. The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test looks for signs of the virus genes in the sample. In this test, the sample is taken from the back of the throat or nose with a cotton swab. 

An antigen test detects proteins produced by the coronavirus. The test works like a pregnancy test. You use the provided swab to take a sample and then dip it in a vial with reagent fluid. After that, you insert the swab into a device, and a control line appears if the test is working. If a second line appears after about 15 minutes, the test sample is positive. 

Blood Test

Blood tests are also known as serological tests. Essentially, serological tests are for detecting whether a person has had a COVID-19 infection in the past. Typically, the tests detect antibodies that are released in the blood to fight coronaviruses. 

Where can you get a COVID-19 Test? 

There are multiple coronavirus testing facilities available for public testing. These include health facilities and pharmacies. There are also dedicated testing centers for the government, civil organizations, and private firms. You can also procure an at-home rapid test or send the samples to a laboratory for analysis. The test may be free or at a cost based on the facility.

Why Test for Coronavirus? 

The test results are integral in health protection. A negative test means you do not have an infection at the time of testing. Thus, you can take measures to protect yourself by covering your mouth and nose with a mask, keeping social distance, washing your hands with soap, and getting a vaccine. If you test positive, you should take measures such as self-isolation to protect others while undergoing care management. 

Getting a coronavirus test helps you to protect yourself and others. While there are options for self-testing, the test may not be ideal for everyone. Consult a medical professional when taking a COVID-19 test. Contact a facility that offers coronavirus testing services to learn more.