How long does it take after exposure to test positive for COVID-19? | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

How long does it take after exposure to test positive for COVID-19? | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Testing is less reliable within three days of exposure, according to evidence, and the optimal period to get tested is five to seven days following exposure. When patients are experiencing symptoms, tests are significantly more accurate.

• Posted on the 17th of December, 2020

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A positive test result can take up to a week after being exposed to COVID-19.

Testing is less reliable within three days of exposure, according to evidence, and the optimal period to get tested is five to seven days following exposure. When patients are experiencing symptoms, tests are significantly more accurate.

The incubation time for COVID-19 might run up to 14 days. It takes time for the virus to develop up in your system if you have it. Testing too soon after an encounter could result in samples lacking enough genetic material from the virus to register as positive. A COVID-19 test is limited in that it only captures a single moment in time. A negative PCR test does not suggest that an individual is clear of infection; rather, it means that the sample did not contain virus levels at a high enough concentration to be evaluated as a positive at that particular time.

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“Whether you get tested or not, if you were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or longer, you should quarantine to minimize the spread of the virus,” said Steven Patton, D.O., family medicine physician at Norton Community Medical Associates – Preston. “Whether you hugged or kissed the person, exchanged utensils or a drink, or were the recipient of a sneeze or cough, the duration of time spent with them is irrelevant.”

Even if you don’t have symptoms, isolate yourself at home while waiting for test results. Even if you aren’t sick, you can transfer the virus if you have it. If at all possible, avoid going to work for 14 days.

If staying out of work for the whole two weeks is too expensive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends stopping quarantine after 10 days if you haven’t been tested and don’t have any symptoms. After seven days, if you were tested on the fifth day after exposure or later and the result was negative, you can come out of isolation.

Keep an eye out for a fever, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms while you’re in quarantine. Individuals with severe or life-threatening symptoms should seek emergency medical attention right once.