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When Should I Get A COVID-19 Test?

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • 5 days after you have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19.
  • Before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.
Which COVID-19 Test Should I Get?
  • If you have symptoms, best thing to do is to get one viral diagnostic tests (PCR or rapid antigen test). You can get a self-rapid antigen test first if it is available.
  • If you don’t have symptoms but want to be tested because of a potential exposure, the molecular/PCR test is the better choice. It can find small amounts of the virus that might be seen before symptoms start.
  • PCR test are highly sensitive and specific to give the true result.
What Does My Self-Test (Rapid Test) Result Mean?
  • A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have a current infection.
  • A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test within at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected. You should also follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

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