How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
Where are the Testing Locations?
What are limitations to COVID-19 diagnostic tests?
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
Who can be tested?
Is the testing Safe?
Is the testing HIPPA compliant?
If serology/antibody test is not used for diagnosis or exclusion of COVID-19 infection, what is its purpose?
What are serology tests and how are they used?
Serology tests are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether people have been exposed to a particular pathogen by looking at their antibodies, or specific proteins produced by the body in response to an infection. Serology tests can be helpful in determining whether someone is still contagious IgM and was infected in the past IgG with the coronavirus, whether or not they ever developed symptoms of the disease.
In contrast, the PCR tests currently being used to diagnose active cases of COVID-19 can only indicate the presence of viral genetic material during the period of active infection and do not indicate if a person is still infected and subsequently recovered.
How long does it take to get test results?
Timely test results are important to inform clinical care and to support public health measures to control COVID-19. The sooner patients receive test results, the sooner infected individuals can be isolated, before they transmit their infection to others. And, the contacts of infected individuals can be traced and monitored so that they, too, can take preventive measures to avoid spreading the disease.
Currently, the time it takes to get testing results in the U.S. can vary based on several factors.
COVID Solution can results of Molecular PCR Testing within 48-72 hours
Serology/ Antibody Testing in 10 minutes
Different testing technologies produce results in different time frames. For example, some testing machines promise results in <30 minutes, whereas some laboratory methods can take hours. If a health facility has to send a test out to a separate laboratory, it can take additional time due to transit and backlogs up to 7-10 days. It may also take additional time to relay the test result to the healthcare provider and patient. Across the U.S., delays in testing due to shortages of testing supplies have been reported.