There are different types of tests available for COVID-19. The following identifies the testing options, please note this is a shortened version of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Testing Basics provided by the FDA (view entire chart HERE).
|Molecular Test (PCR)||Antigen Test (Rapid)||Antibody Test|
|Also known as:||Diagnostic test, viral test,nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test||Rapid COVID test, diagnostic test||Serological test, serology blood test, serology test|
|How the sample is taken…||Nasal or throat swab (most tests) Saliva (a few tests)||Nasal swab||Finger stick or blood draw|
|Test results time…||1-7 days||15 – 30 minutes||1-3 days|
|Requires additional test…||Highly accurate and does not require additional testing||Positive results usually accurate, negative results may require molecular test||Second antibody test may be required|
|What the test shows…||Active coronavirus infection||Active coronavirus infection||Coronavirus infection in the past|
|What it can’t do…||Show past COVID-19 infection||May miss active COVID-19 infection,molecular test may need to be ordered||Diagnose if you currently have or do not have COVID-19 at the time of test|