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How Long Does It Take to Get a Negative Covid Test After Testing Positive?

COVID-19 testing is a hot topic around the world right now. With all the different testing options and locations available, it’s no surprise that testing is consistently cited as one of the main ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Testing can help identify if you are infected, have had exposure to COVID-19, or should be following certain protocols. This information is critical in the fight against the pandemic. 

So, you decided to get a COVID-19 test. You went to the testing site or took an over-the-counter test. Your results came back. You tested positive for COVID-19. At this point several things are likely going through your head. Should you quarantine yourself? How long will you test positive for COVID? Do you need more tests? In this blog we look at some of the most common questions and topics people have after they test positive for COVID-19. 

How long does it take to get a negative COVID test after testing positive?

Once you test positive for COVID-19, there are several factors that can influence when you will begin to test negative again. For example, symptomatic individuals may tend to think that once their symptoms disappear they will test negative automatically. That is not always the case. In fact, a BMC Study suggests that it is entirely possible for individuals to produce a positive COVID-19 test after recovery, even if they are symptom-free.  

Other factors like how often you retest and incubation time influence how long to quarantine after a positive test. The CDC recommends at least a 14-day quarantine period from the time you believe you have had exposure to COVID-19, although local health departments may recommend 7-10 days based on their own guidelines. However, once you test positive, it is recommended to isolate until you test negative. 

When should I test again after testing positive for COVID-19?

While there is no hard and fast rule for when to retest after a positive COVID test, several factors can indicate when the time is right for you. For example, if you still have symptoms of COVID-19, you can expect that you will still test positive, so you may want to wait until symptoms subside. However, if you have no symptoms or have always been asymptomatic, you can retest at any time. 

Because you can test positive as early as 48 hours after being exposed and a typical infection period lasts around two weeks, you may want to consider a retest within 5-7 days of your original test. Since you tested positive and are recommended to isolate as best as you can, ideally you should take at-home tests or look for drive-thru testing options. Otherwise, wear a mask when going to test in public. Other CDC recommendations can be found here

How long will I test positive for COVID after having it?

You may be curious how long you will test positive for. If you are asking that, you are likely also wondering “How long do you stay contagious after testing positive for COVID-19?” These are both valid concerns. 

According to the CDC, people can spread the virus for up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms, or testing positive. Along this same line of thinking you can expect to continue to test positive for up to 10 days after testing positive. However, in some more severe cases, contagiousness and symptoms can persist for upwards of 2 weeks. 

BioCollections, Testing Solutions You Can Trust

Once you test positive, knowing that you are no longer contagious and safe to reintegrate back into society is a huge relief and critical piece of information. With BioCollections, you get your retest results within 12 hours on average.Whether you are showing symptoms, have tested positive before, have been exposed, or just want to play it safe before visiting grandma, get tested for COVID-19. When it’s time for you to test, or retest, do it with us at BioCollections. We offer state-of-the-art PCR testing with some of the fastest turn around times in the world. Let us be your partner when it comes COVID-19 testing. Explore our different services and testing locations today.     

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