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Novel coronavirus 2019 nCoV RT-PCR diagnostics kit. Reagents, primers and control samples

COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

When you get tested:

  • Make sure to test at the right time

  • Choose the right type of test for your circumstance

  • Follow test directions as recommended by FDA

If you do not, your results may be less likely to correctly indicate whether you have COVID-19 or not.

When to Get Tested for COVID-19

Key times to get tested:

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.

  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.

  • If you are in certain high-risk settings, you may need to test as part of a screening testing program.

  • Consider testing before contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19, especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 Community Level.

Nasal coronavirus PCR test. Doctor using swab stick to take covid virus specimen from pote

Types of Tests

Viral tests look for a current infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by testing specimens from your nose or mouth. One of the main types of viral tests is nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).


  • NAATs, such as PCR-based tests, are most often performed in a laboratory. They are typically the most reliable tests for people with or without symptoms. These tests detect viral genetic material, which may stay in your body for up to 90 days after you test positive. Therefore, you should not use a NAAT if you have tested positive in the last 90 days.

Epidemiologist in protective suit, mask and glasses works with patient swabs to detect spe

If Your COVID-19 Test is


Any positive COVID-19 test means the virus was detected and you have an infection.

  • Isolate and take precautions including wearing a high-quality mask to protect others from getting infected.

  • Tell people you had recent contact with that they may have been exposed.

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have any emergency warning signs, seek emergency care immediately.

  • Consider contacting a healthcare provider, community health center, or pharmacy to learn about treatment options that may be available to you. Treatment must be started within several days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.

    • You are more likely to get very sick if you are an older adult or have an underlying medical condition. Possible treatment may be available for you.

If Your COVID-19 Test is


A negative COVID-19 test means the test did not detect the virus, but this doesn’t rule out that you could have an infection. If you used an antigen test, see FDA instructions on repeat testing.

  • If you have symptoms:

    • You may have COVID-19, but tested before the virus was detectable, or you may have another illness.

    • Take general public health precautions to prevent spreading an illness to others.

    • Contact a healthcare provider if you have any questions about your test result or if your symptoms worsen.

  • If you do not have symptoms, but were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, you should continue to take recommended steps after exposure.

  • If you do not have symptoms and you have not been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, you may return to normal activities.

Negative results. Testing for presence of coronavirus. Tube containing a swab sample for C
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INSURED: If you are insured, we bill your insurance carrier directly. No need for copay or deductible


IMPORTANT NOTES FOR INSURED PATIENTS: After your COVID-19 test(s), you may receive an Explanation of Benefits letter (EOB) from your insurance company – this is not a bill and does NOT mean you owe a balance to Universal Genetics for your COVID-19 test(s). Your insurance company’s payment will be treated as a payment in full, based on current regulations under the CARES Act and FFCRA. You are not responsible for paying any outstanding balance shown on your EOB. If you provided us with insurance information when you registered for your appointment, you won’t pay anything out-of-pocket.

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