When Should A Person Get COVID-19 Testing?
Despite many people’s best efforts, COVID-19 continues to spread around the country – and there’s always a chance of catching it. While overall fatality rates from the coronavirus are low, individual cases can still be severe and bring significant health risks. If you think there’s a chance you have COVID-19, or have been exposed to it, you need professional COVID-19 testing to find out for sure.
Remember: a person can potentially have COVID-19 for 2-3 weeks without symptoms, while still being contagious and spreading the disease. This makes it all the more important to get testing when needed. Let’s break down when and how testing should happen.
When Should I Get COVID-19 Testing?
There are two basic scenarios where you should get tested: If you’re showing symptoms of the disease, or you know you’ve had contact with an infected person.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of COVID-19 generally mimic any number of other colds and flus, so it can be difficult to tell if you have COVID-19 specifically. In general, it’s best to play it safe: if you’re having flu-like symptoms, go ahead and get a COVID-19 test.
One unique symptom is that some people lose their sense of taste or smell when they have the coronavirus. If you’re experiencing this symptom, definitely get tested.
Otherwise, you want to get tested if you find out you’ve been exposed to the virus. You might find out from someone directly that they were infected, or you might find out via a general alert – such as attending an event alongside an infected person.
If you believe you’ve been exposed to the virus, do not immediately seek testing. You want to wait 4-5 days instead. This is because the disease needs a few days to incubate. If you test too early, the results will almost certainly be negative. Waiting 4-5 days will give you the most accurate results.
You might even want to get tested twice, approximately one week apart. False negatives are possible, but two false negatives in a row are extremely rare. If you get two tests, and both come back negative, you can be reasonably certain that you are not infected.
Fighting COVID-19 is a group effort, and we all need to stay alert. If you think you have been exposed to the disease, please don’t wait longer than you have to. Contact your local Pasadena urgent care clinic to arrange for fast and easy COVID-19 testing.