Your Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Diagnostic Test
Testing is significant in the efforts to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting a Sugar Land Covid test helps you establish whether you are infected, take appropriate steps to care for yourself, and prevent further person-to-person transmission. Getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are in high-risk settings is especially important. You also want to get tested if you were exposed to COVID-19 and you do not have symptoms; wait at least five full days after exposure before testing.
What happens during a COVID-19 diagnostic test?
For this test, a healthcare professional will take a sample of mucus from your nose or throat; this can take place in a healthcare facility, your doctor’s office, or a testing center. Some locations also offer saliva tests, which may be less sensitive than the mucus sample.
Your healthcare provider may use a long or short nasal or throat swab to collect mucus samples. It is a thin, flexible stick with cotton at its tip, which helps collect mucus samples. You may experience discomfort as the doctor brushes the swab along the back of your throat to collect the mucus sample. For a nose swab, your provider inserts the flexible tip at the tip into your nose; swabbing may be done in both nostrils to collect enough mucus. The doctor will leave the swab in place for some minutes before rotating and pulling it out. They will seal the sample in a tube and send it to a lab.
Are there risks to COVID-19 diagnostic tests?
You might experience discomfort during specimen collection; the process should not be painful. A significant risk to the COVID-19 test is the possibility of a false-negative result, meaning you have the virus, but the test could not detect it. If you have symptoms, you risk spreading the virus to others if you don’t take the necessary precautions. The test can also produce false-positive results.
How long do I wait for the results?
If you get tested in a facility with rapid tests for COVID-19, expect your results in less than an hour or on the same day you are tested. However, some facilities send the samples to an outside lab for analysis; in such a case, results will be available a few days later. Your results could be positive or negative; positive means that you are currently infected with the virus causing COVID-19. Therefore, you must take appropriate steps to care for yourself and avoid spreading the virus to others.
Negative results mean that you likely do not have an active infection with the COVID-19 virus. However, sometimes false negatives can happen depending on the timing and quality of the test sample. If you have symptoms, it is best to stay away from others; you may need a second test if your symptoms persist. Remember that testing negative does not mean you can’t get infected in the future. Therefore, you want to follow guidelines for physical distancing, vaccination, regular hand-washing, and face mask use to avoid potential spread.
If you have further questions about COVID-19 testing, consult your St. Michael Elite Hospital doctor.