A laboratory test is used to diagnose COVID-19. To send for testing, your healthcare professional might take a sample of your saliva or swab your throat or nose.
When should I have a coronavirus (COVID-19) test?
Call your medical professional if you:
- Feel unwell with a fever, a cough, or breathing issues.
- Having had frequent contact with someone who carries or is thought to carry COVID-19.
- Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms and let you know whether you need to get tested for COVID-19.
How long should I self-isolate if my coronavirus test is positive?
As of right now, the CDC advises self-isolation until you’ve satisfied both of the following conditions:
- Five days have passed since the onset of your symptoms, and they are getting better.
- You haven’t had a fever in the past 24 hours, and you haven’t taken any anti-fever meds.
If at all feasible, segregate yourself from the rest of the family while at home by staying in a different room. If you cannot remain completely alone in a separate room, keep a distance of 6 feet from other people, wear a cloth mask, wash your hands frequently with soap for yourself and your family, and often disinfect shared spaces.
After your period of self-isolation, there is no need for a follow-up test. Follow your healthcare provider’s testing recommendations, but remember that every case is different.
The CDC’s requirements do not apply to you if you have a compromised immune system or have experienced a severe COVID-19 infection. You might need to stay home for up to 20 days after your symptoms start. Discuss your condition with your healthcare practitioner.
How long must I isolate myself after being in the presence of someone with COVID-19?
If: You need to be in a five-day quarantine.
- You still lack several vaccinations.
- Since receiving your second vaccination dose, more than six months have passed without a booster.
After that, for an extra five days, you should always wear a mask that fits properly while you are near people. If possible, the CDC advises testing on day five, and this quarantine duration may change depending on the strain variations and the testing options available.
Is it possible to test coronavirus negative and still have the disease?
It is conceivable, yes. There are several causes for “false negative” test results, which means you have COVID-19 despite what the test result indicates.
Arguments against false negative Test results for COVID-19 include:
- You had testing too soon after becoming unwell. The virus hasn’t increased in your body to the point where the test could find it.
- The samples obtained by the swab were poor. It’s possible that neither you nor the medical staff swabbed your nasal cavity thoroughly enough to receive a quality sample. Other less likely possibilities include handling and shipment mistakes.
- The test was not sensitive or specific enough to identify COVID-19’s causative agent, SARS-CoV-2. Sensitivity is the test’s capacity to identify even the tiniest viral particles. The ability of the test to identify only the COVID-19 virus and not other related viruses is referred to as specificity. For SARS-CoV-2, numerous commercial and medical laboratories have created difficulties. All must adhere to standards. However, “false negative” and “false positive” tests are always possible.
If your test returned negative, but you believe you may still have COVID-19, you should follow the most recent CDC instructions. Ten days should be spent at home if you think you could be ill (social separation). Put on a cotton mask and keep your physical distance from people at 6 feet. Contact your physician if your symptoms worsen. Never judge if you are safe to be among others on your own. Call your doctor when your symptoms start to improve.