Getting tested after exposure to COVID-19 is a decision that can be inspired by both emotions and logic. On the one hand, anxiety and concern about potentially having COVID-19 means you might want to get tested regardless. But scientific understanding of COVID-19 has advanced enough that we now understand when COVID-19 testing is really essential, and when it’s more optional. If you’re questioning whether or not to get a COVID-19 test, you have come to the right place.
If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and you are not vaccinated, the most important thing to do is quarantine. This means not just staying home, but also isolating from others in your home. Even if they were exposed to the same person as you, it’s possible only one of you contracted the virus.
If you want to get tested for COVID-19 after your exposure, it’s advised to wait until five to seven days after your exposure to get the test. This will allow time for the virus to replicate to a point it can even be detected by the test. Even if you are showing symptoms within the first three days after your exposure, your test could still yield a false negative during that time.
If you have been vaccinated, or have recovered from a previous case of COVID-19 in the last three months, you do not need to be tested unless you develop new or worsening symptoms.
Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 and starts showing symptoms should get tested regardless of vaccine status or previous infection.
Being in close contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, but is not themselves diagnosed, can be even more complicated. But remember, you don’t even know for sure if that person got COVID-19 during their exposure.
If the person you interacted with was not showing symptoms at the time, you do not need to quarantine or take any other action. However, if that person does start showing symptoms or tests positive, then you need to react accordingly with the instructions in the above section.
The only exception to this guidance would be individuals who are high-risk for a severe case of COVID-19. In those cases, you may still wish to be tested five days after your interaction, in case your close contact did contract COVID-19 but has stayed asymptomatic or hasn’t been tested themselves.
Monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms can have you questioning every cough, sneeze, or achy muscle. Here are a few of the most significant symptoms of COVID-19 that might prompt you to get tested.
These are not all of the symptoms of COVID-19, and anyone who is concerned they have the virus should be tested. With these and other symptoms, it can be challenging to determine if the cause is a cold, seasonal allergies, the flu, strep throat, or other conditions. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure what is causing your illness will be to get a COVID-19 test and consult with a doctor about testing for other conditions as well.
If you are a resident of any of these metropolitan areas, consider working with BioCollections Worldwide for COVID-19 testing.
Additionally, we have affiliates and subsidiaries in Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
We conduct tests on individuals at drive through testing centers and in our labs, and work with employers and other organizations to facilitate group testing after a COVID-19 exposure as well. We pride ourselves on our fast COVID-19 test results turnaround, informing our clients of their PCR test results in 12 hours or less. Contact BioCollections Worldwide today or locate one of our testing sites near you.