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COVID testing: How long does it take to get coronavirus test results back?

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

James Martin / CNET

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Coronavirus cases in the United States are still growing and the pandemic is expected to get worse before it gets better. The United States sees a decline in the number of people tested in September, but that may change sometime flu season arrivesresulting in delays in test results. Fortunately, many states have made it easier to get coronavirus tests.

Testing continues to be an uneven experience, from who may receive a COVID-1

9 test To make it easier find a test site in your area and even how long it takes to take the test results.

In most cases, your doctor should tell you a time frame to get your coronavirus results back, but this can range from hours to even a week or longer. Here’s what we know about how long it takes to test and how to find out your results.


There are places to test for coronavirus.

James Martin / CNET

When can I get a COVID-19 test?

As more tests become available, it may be easier to find a test site near you. Some areas have drop-in test centers where you can go up. Others may require a doctor’s appointment and a meeting with a test facility, an action that can help avoid crowds that would overwhelm the test site and staff. Contact your local test center to get a sense of what to expect. It is likely that you will do so must wear face mask to be tested.

If you are a high risk patient or experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor for a referral to a test clinic in your area.

How is the coronavirus test?

If you do not take one home test, when you go to get screened for coronavirus either you are directed to a clinic or to a test site. If you are waiting for a medical facility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you wear face protection to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Note that many facilities may require you to wear a face mask.

A common type of testing for COVID-19 today is a nasal stick similar to screening for other influenza viruses. In the earliest COVID-19 nasal tests, the doctor would remove the inside of the nose for several seconds with a long disposable tool that looks like a giant Q-tip and reaches the upper part of the throat. Recently, tests seem more likely to be a nostril in one or both nostrils with a shorter interval.

Antibody test, which requires a blood test, is also becoming increasingly available. That test works like other blood draws, where a doctor sterilizes your arm (usually around the folds of the inner elbow), inserts a needle into your vein and takes a small blood sample.

No matter how you are tested, the sample is sealed and sent to a laboratory to determine if you have COVID-19.

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

When will I receive my COVID-19 test results?

In theory, it only takes a few hours for a lab to determine if you have acquired coronavirus. But depending on where you live, it can take up to a week or more to get your results back. It also depends on how many tests have been administered at your site.

In all areas where masses of people are tested for COVID-19, backups at processing plants can lead to longer waiting times for results.

Minnesota is offering four weeks of “no barrier” testing for free starting September 21st. This means that everyone can be tested, even if they do not show any symptoms.

In Kentucky, Norton Healthcare originally said the test results would take longer than expected due to increased testing nationwide, but now says the results will be delivered within two to three days.

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

When your results are available, your doctor will contact you to let you know if you have tested positive or negative for COVID-19.

What happens if I test positive for coronavirus?

If the results show that you have been infected with COVID-19, be sure to notify everyone you have come in close contact with in the last two weeks. Ask your doctor for the next step and continue to isolate yourself at home.

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

The CDC says you can leave the house again when you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (without medication), symptoms such as cough have improved and at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared, but you should seek medical advice is safe to leave the house.

For more information on coronavirus testing, here is how to find a coronavirus test site near you and check waiting times, who qualifies 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 healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.

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