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How Long Does It Take To Get the Results of a COVID-19 Test?

PCR test 5
PCR test 5

There are many different tests for the COVID-19 tests. Many tests give different time periods when they return the test results. The main 3 tests are the PCR test, the rapid antigen test, and the antibody test. The PCR test, also known as the polymerase chain reaction test, is the most accurate test out of all the ones listed. 

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The PCR test

This test will generally take about one (1) to three (3) days. The process of this test is to first go to a PCR test center. These centers will let you go in and take a sample from different forms. Some different ways that they get the samples are by nose swabs, throat swabs, and from your saliva. These samples will then go to a laboratory to get tested. This process will take 1-3 days and then the results should be returned to you whenever it is available. For the smaller, more rural areas, the PCR test is done locally. You can go to the hospital or clinic and get yourself tested and have the results returned to you the same day while you are waiting in the clinic or hospital. 

The Rapid Antigen test

This test will generally take no longer than 20 minutes. The process of this test is to take the buffer solution and put it into a test tube. You then take a cotton swab and put it into your nostril and then put the swab into the test tube. You then swirl the cotton swab in the test tube a few times (preferred 5-10 times) and then squeeze a couple of drops onto the testing device. The testing device will generally take 15 minutes on average so it will be quick and easy. These tests are very good for screening purposes for schools and workplaces. This test is not as accurate compared to the PCR test, but it will prevent the majority of cases and identify who has the virus or not. This test is a good and simple measure to minimize the number of infected people.

The Antibody test

This test will generally take 1-3 days to get the results. Since this test needs the antibodies produced by your body, it will generally be developed 2-3 weeks after you get into contact with the COVID-19 virus. Unlike the PCR test, this test will look for the antibodies produced by your body instead of looking for the virus itself. This test will only test positive if you had past contact and experiences with COVID-19 or that you got the virus but it will generally take 2-3 weeks after the vaccine or infection for your body to develop these antibodies.

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