Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
Who Can Be Tested?
What is the difference between a diagnostic (or PCR) test and antibody testing?
What it does: Doctors use this test to diagnose people who are currently sick with COVID-19.
How it works: This test uses a sample of mucus typically taken from a person’s nose or throat. The test may also work on saliva — that’s under investigation. It looks for the genetic material of the coronavirus. The test uses a technology called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.
What it does: Antibody tests identify people who have previously been infected with the coronavirus. They do not show whether a person is currently infected. This is primarily a good way to track the spread of the coronavirus through a population.
How it works: This is a blood test. It looks for antibodies to the coronavirus. Your body produces antibodies in response to an infectious agent such as a virus. These antibodies generally arise after four days to more than a week after infection, so they are not used to diagnose current disease.
Where Can I Be Tested?
If you or someone you know is experiencing the emergency warning signs* for COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately. Signs include:
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Severe difficulty/trouble breathing
- New confusion
- Bluish lips or face
- Inability to wake or stay away
- *This is not a list of all possible severe symptoms.
Click on each box below to learn where testing is available and any steps you need to follow to be tested.