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Types of COVID-19 testing

  Molecular Test Antigen Test Antibody Test
Also known as.. Diagnostic test, viral test, molecular test, Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test Rapid diagnostic test (Some molecular tests are also rapid tests) Serological test, serology, blood test, serology test
What is it? A diagnostic test that can detect active infection. Currently, the preferred COVID-19 testing method. A diagnostic test that can detect active infection. A test that detects antibodies the immune system created in response to past infection
What kind of sample is taken? Nasal or throat swab (most tests) Saliva (a few tests) Nasal or throat swab Finger stick or blood draw
What do the test results mean? POSITIVE: Most likely, you DO have an active COVID-19 infection and can give the virus to others.

NEGATIVE: Most likely you DO NOT currently have an active COVID-19 infection.

POSITIVE: Most likely, you DO have an active COVID-19 infection and can give the virus to others.

NEGATIVE: You either DO NOT currently have an active COVID-19 infection or you DO have COVID-19 but were tested early or late into the virus’ progression.

POSITIVE: You were potentially previously infected with COVID-19.

NEGATIVE: You were potentially never previously infected with COVID-19, or have not yet developed antibodies.

Next steps POSITIVE: Stay home and follow CDC guidance on steps to take to avoid spreading your illness to others.

NEGATIVE: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home and continue to follow CDC guidance to avoid spreading potential illness to others.

POSITIVE: Stay home and follow CDC guidance on steps to take to avoid spreading your illness to others.

NEGATIVE: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home and continue to follow CDC guidance to avoid spreading potential illness to others. A molecular test is recommended.

POSITIVE: You may be protected from reinfection or have some degree of temporary immunity. Currently, CDC and CSTE places this at 3 months.

NEGATIVE: You are still susceptible to COVID-19. Please take steps to protect yourself and others.

*The cycle threshold for these tests is determined by the manufacturers of the FDA approved testing platforms, not JCDHE or KDHE.