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Coronavirus test: how long will it take to get my COVID-19 results?



It can take more than a week to get your coronavirus test results back.


James Martin / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the most current news and information about the coronavirus pandemic.

While test production continues to increase, coronavirus test kits are still limited in many states across the country. However, home test kits and other types of tests are slowly becoming available. The challenge is that testing is uneven. From who can get a COVID-1

9 test to the difficulty finding a test site in your area and even how long it takes for the test results to arrive, many of us have still plenty of questions.

The shortage of COVID-19 test kits and personal protective equipment in areas where the demand for tests is increasing is one problem. Another ripple discovered last month was coronavirus infection found in the laboratories of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The New York Times reported, delaying the distribution of test kits.

In most cases, your doctor will need to let you know a schedule to get your coronavirus results back, but it can range from hours to even a week. Here's what we know about how long it takes to get tested and how to find out your results.

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There are drive-through sites for coronavirus testing [19659002] James Martin / CNET

When can I get a COVID-19 test?

To be tested for coronavirus, you may need to have a doctor's decision and make an appointment with a testing facility. As tests become more available, there may be options to make an online appointment and show up at a test location, such as an improvised facility or a location designated by your doctor's office.

In Santa Clara County, California, a local stadium and fairground that has been converted to test sites serve as sites for self-administration of nasal swabs that no longer extend into the back of the throat, NBC reported. Testing is available to all residents over the age of 18, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

However, if you are a risk patient or experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, get medical attention. straight away. Call your doctor for a referral to a testing clinic near you.

How's the coronavirus test?

If you do not do a home test, you will be screened for the coronavirus if you are referred to a clinic or to a drive-through test site. If you wait in a medical facility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you wear a face cover to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Note that for many facilities you may need to wear a face mask .

The most common type of test for COVID-19 today is a nasal smear test similar to screening for other flu viruses (although blood tests with antibodies are on the horizon). The doctor will stretch the inside of your nose for a few seconds with a long, single-use tool that looks like a giant Q-Tip and reaches the top of the throat. Some more recent tests seem to be attracted to a shorter-range self-administered nasal swab.

Antibody tests, which require a blood sample are also becoming more and more available. Regardless of how you are tested, the sample is sealed and sent to a lab to determine if you have COVID-19.

Read more: Do you need a pulse oximeter? These models are available from $ 24

When will I get my COVID-19 test results?

In theory, it only takes a few hours for the laboratory to determine whether you have contracted the coronavirus. But depending on where you live, it may take a week or more for your results to come back. It also depends on how many tests were taken at your location. For example, some facilities, such as the one in New York, are overwhelmed by the number of people being tested. Therefore, the waiting time may be longer.

Other states, such as California, are experiencing a backlog of test results. That can quickly turn into bags across the state. Norton Healthcare originally said test results would take longer than expected due to increased nationwide testing, but now says results will be delivered in three to five days.

The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio said that hospitalized patients who are very ill or at high risk usually receive their results within 24 hours. However, patients tested in a drive-through facility will get their results back in a few days.

Once your results are available, your doctor will contact you to let you know if you have tested positive or negative for the coronavirus.

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What if I test positive for the coronavirus?

If the results show that you have been infected with COVID-19, let everyone you know have been in close contact in the past two weeks. Ask your doctor about the next steps and continue to isolate yourself at home.

Contact Tracking a system that helps identify people with whom you have come in close contact can help prevent the spread to others. We also have some guidelines for to take care of yourself if you are infected with the virus.

The CDC says you can leave the house if you haven't had a fever for at least 72 hours (without medication), symptoms like coughing have improved, and at least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

For more information on coronavirus testing, see how to find a coronavirus testing site near you and check waiting times eligible for COVID-19 testing and What You Need to Know About a Coronavirus Home Test Kit .

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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