COVID-19 tests are a way to protect your family, friends, and community. Alila Medical Media describes the different kinds of COVID-19 tests.
You can get tests to check to see if you are currently infected or if you were recently infected with COVID-19. Diagnostic COVID 19 testing looks for the presence of the virus by taking a nasal swab. The swab needs to go very deep into your nasal cavity.
There are also tests that swab your throat or take a saliva sample. However, these tests are not as accurate as a nasal swab.
There are also at-home diagnostic tests that look at your RNA or antigens that show the presence of the virus. These tests are fast but are not as accurate as other kinds of diagnostic tests. The chance of false negatives is high.
Tests for past infections are called antibody tests or serology tests. All that’s needed is a blood sample, usually taken from a fingertip. Antibodies stay in the bloodstream months after infection, so you cannot find out exactly when you got infected. These tests do not indicate if you are currently infected, only that you were exposed to the virus in the past few months.