The entire world has to deal with the COVID-19 virus for the foreseeable future. Everyone bears responsibility in eliminating the spread. Getting a COVID-19 test is one of the most reliable ways to do your part. From there, you can self-isolate and take other steps. Keep reading to learn more about getting a COVID-19 test, and what comes next.
Understand the symptoms and exposure risks
The main time to get tested is when you've come in contact with someone who tested positive, or if you are experiencing COVID symptoms. Examples of some common COVID-19 virus symptoms include flu symptoms, high temperatures, chronic dry cough, body soreness, and chronic fatigue. Perhaps the most notable coronavirus symptom that people mention is the loss of smell or taste for varying periods of time. Many people experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Asymptomatic cases are the biggest threats since a person can unknowingly spread COVID-19 to several others.
Arrange for a COVID-19 test
Get tested if you have been in contact with someone that has been exposed to the virus. Book an appointment at a local testing site, or visit a location that allows walk-in patients. The nasal swab is the most common type of COVID-19 test administered. A long swab is swirled around both nostrils to collect a sample, either in the front or middle area of your nostrils. The swab samples are then sent off to a laboratory for testing. Some other COVID-19 tests swab the inside of your mouth.
Ask about the turnaround time for the test to know when to expect your results. You'll be able to check the test results digitally by e-mail or with a secure login. Many COVID-19 tests are free, either through government programs or your insurance provider.
Prepare to take the next steps after receiving your COVID-19 test results
If your test comes back positive, prepare to self-quarantine to eliminate exposure to other people. Stay home for 14 days and get plenty of rest if you're experiencing symptoms. Look into delivery services or get help from someone that can stock up on all the food and supplies you need, so that you can stay isolated and avoid spreading the virus in public places. Test again at the end of the quarantine period to be sure you're not still contagious.
Start with the tips above and reach out to COVID-19 testing sites in your city that can help you further.