Coronasmarts: Testing for past and current infections

May 20, 2020
If you’re just anxious or curious, COVID-19 testing isn’t for you, as appealing as a negative result may sound. (Although a whopping 30% of negatives turn out to be erroneous.) Shortages in testing kits and laboratory capacity remain a very real challenge, so CDC recommends testing only for those who have symptoms. If that’s you, get in touch with your healthcare provider for next steps.

Testing options currently rely on swab or needle:

FDA recently approved at-home viral testing kits that rely on saliva or nasal samples. That makes things easier for the patient, although there may be some issues with keeping the materials sterile and the samples intact. The greatest concern, though, is that these samples still need to be sent to a lab for analysis, and labs are swamped with samples right now.

If you fall into one of the CDC’s high-priority categories, a test may be in order. Otherwise, the best advice is to assume you have the virus even if you’re pretty sure you don’t—and act accordingly to keep others safe.

Coronasmarts: What we know right now about COVID-19Coronasmarts: What is contact tracing?

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