COVID-19 And Testing Options

Posted on: 22 June 2022

COVID-19 became a widespread and dangerous virus in the United States in the last couple of years. Since then, scientists have had to study and come up with ways to test for the COVID-19 virus accurately. COVID-19 is serious—if you have symptoms, take a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. 

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is in the coronavirus family. COVID-19 is highly dangerous and contractable if proper precautions are not taken (e.g. wearing masks, social distancing, vaccinations, etc.). It can cause long-lasting respiratory problems long after the virus has left the body. Another common virus in the coronavirus family is the common cold. 

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 has many symptoms to be on the lookout for.

Some of those symptoms can include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Body soreness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat 
  • Nausea or vomiting

Also, if you notice that your taste or smell is off, or even completely gone, this can be a big indicator that you may have contracted COVID-19. If you have lost your taste or smell, or are experiencing the above symptoms, get tested as soon as possible and quarantine until you have your results. 

COVID-19 Testing

There are a few different types of tests you may be able to take depending on what is offered in your area. 

At-Home COVID-19 Tests

The at-home test is by far the most convenient test for those who may have contracted COVID-19. These tests can be delivered right to your door and can be administered by following a few simple instructions. However, the at-home test is not as accurate as the tests that are administered at the doctor's office. 

RT-PCR Tests

Most commonly, a PCR test is completed when a nurse or doctor inserts a nasal swab into the nose to collect the fluid in the back of your nostrils. They can also collect the fluid on the back of the throat with a swab or by taking a saliva sample. Depending on what your location offers, you may be able to receive your results almost immediately. Otherwise, your samples get sent to a lab and the results can take a couple of days. 

Antibody Tests

If you have been exposed, but are not yet experiencing symptoms, the test you would want to take is the antibody test. While the PCR test tests for COVID-19 itself, the antibody test only tests for antibodies in the body. Antibodies typically do not show up unless you are sick, then your body will create the antibodies to fight off the virus. If antibodies show up on your results, this means you were or are currently sick.

For more information about COVID-19 testing, contact a health and medical center near you.