Things to Know About COVID-19 Tests

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Where are COVID-19 tests available?

Below are some common places where tests may be available. For the latest information on available testing, visit your state or local health department’s website. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you have symptoms of COVID-19, please review CDC’s guidance on how to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

Home
You Should Know: You may be able to collect a sample for testing using an FDA approved at home collection kit. Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for at home sample collection.
Available Tests: Home collection kits detect viral nucleic acid using nasal swabs or saliva; results are expected within 72 hours.

Drive Through Testing
You Should Know: Healthcare facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, and laboratories can set up off-site locations like drive through testing to collect samples.
Available Tests: Nasal or throat swab to detect viral nucleic acid or proteins. Results take 15 minutes to days.

Pharmacy
You Should Know: HHS has partnered with pharmacy and retail companies to accelerate testing. Click here for up-to-date information about this testing.
Available Tests: Self administered nasal swabs. Results can take minutes or up to 72 hours.

Hospital
You Should Know:  The process for testing at hospitals and doctor’s offices vary from place to place. Contact your state, local, tribal or territorial department for more information, or reach out to a medical provider.
Available Tests: Hospital clinical laboratories can perform molecular and/or protein tests to detect SARSCoV-2. Results can take minutes to days.

Commercial Laboratories
You Should Know: Commercial laboratories are private facilities and perform tests referred from physician’s offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. These labs greatly expand COVID-19 testing capacity and work with CDC to support the public health response.
Available Tests: Commercial laboratories can perform molecular and/or protein tests to detect SARS-CoV-2. Results can take minutes to days.

Public Health Laboratories
You Should Know: Federal, state, and local public health laboratories (PHL) perform diagnostic and reference testing, and are instrumental to disease diagnosis and surveillance. PHLs are essential to CDC’s public health response to COVID-19.
Available Tests: PHLs can perform molecular tests to detect SARS-CoV-2. Results can take minutes to days.

Tests to Detect Viral Nucleic Acid

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Tests to Detect Viral Nucleic Acid
Tests to Detect Viral Viral Proteins

Viral Composition, the Course of Infection and Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests

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Viral Composition, the Course of Infection and Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests

SARS-CoV-2 Tests Detect

  • Viral Genome
  • Nucleocapsid Protein (N)
  • Envelope Protein (E)
  • Spike Protein (S)
  • Orf1ab gene
  • RNA-dependent
  • RNA polymerase (RdRp)