Even if there are now promising vaccines against COVID-19, plenty of COVID-19 tests are still being carried out to catch the virus before it spreads. Unfortunately, such testing efforts have been impeded by a shortage of medical supplies, not to mention the nature of the virus being incredibly tough to identify. For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established guidelines to identify which populations should be tested first.
Should you go out to undergo a COVID-19 test? Let us find out.
Why testing is important
First, let us establish the importance of COVID-19 testing.
OVID-19 testing is necessary for many people to stop the spread and isolate the individual quickly. This prevents further spread of the virus and allows authorities to understand how the virus affects certain communities.
Who should get tested for the virus
The first group of people that should get tested are the ones that show symptoms of the coronavirus. If you show symptoms of being infected by COVID-19, then you should get tested right away. You must do so, even if you believe you are not infected, simply because you would not want the risk of unknowingly spreading it.
That being said, the CDC has also mentioned that patients who have been exposed to a confirmed case need to be tested for the virus. The virus can transmit asymptomatically—it might now show symptoms until it is too late. It takes a few days for the symptoms to become apparent (if they do), and during that time span, it can continue spreading to other individuals.
When you should get tested
There really is no direct answer when it comes to knowing when you should get a test done. Generally, a person will show positive only three or five days after contracting the virus. Before that, there is always the possibility that the test will result in a false negative. Unfortunately, the virus has also been found to incubate for even up to two weeks.
A good rule of thumb of when to get yourself checked is if you have been exposed to an area where the virus has been found. Three days after is a good amount of time. Before that, isolate yourself to ensure you do not unknowingly spread it.
If the test shows negative, you can test again after a few more days. Keep in mind that there may also be wait times to be tested, so take that into account to not find yourself getting unwittingly delaying the test.
In summary, the best time to get tested is at least three days after you have been in an area where other individuals have tested positive for the virus. There is a looming possibility that you have caught the virus as well; it could be in your body, incubating.
Isolate yourself if you have been to a high-risk area, and wait a few days before getting a test. If you need multiple tests, then schedule each of them a few days apart from each other. If you show symptoms, then get tested right away. These efforts are essential in slowing down the spread of the virus and will ensure that we can treat your case as early as possible if you are indeed found positive.
Agile Urgent Care is a full-service walk-in medical facility in New Jersey to provide the latest and most convenient medical services for those in need of care. Contact us today and schedule your COVID-19 test!