COVID-19 Testing Options: 

 

Testing is one of the pillars of our nation’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic and our Emergency Authorized Use (EAU) diagnostic testing options are focused on high accuracy, ease of administration and rapid detection.

Saliva Test

Primary Difference

Easier to perform, self-administered test which does not require direct interaction with a clinician.

How does it work?

This test analyzes genetic material for detection of coronavirus. This material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

This test entails spitting several times into a tube to collect the required amount of sputum/saliva. The test is self-administered and does not require the direct interaction of a clinician. The timing of collection will vary on the ability of each patient to generate enough "spit".

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

 

Nasopharyngeal Swab Test - PCR

Primary Difference

This test can detect early onset infection with very high accuracy.

How does it work?

This test uses a technology called PCR (polyamerase chain reaction), which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

This is a nasopharyngeal (nose/throat) test which takes only seconds and may be mildly uncomfortable.

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

 

Antibody (Blood) Test

Primary Difference

It does not show whether a person is currently infected. Antibodies can be found in the blood of people and can indicate if a person has had an immune response to the infection.

How does it work?

An antibody test is a blood test that looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.

Sample needed

This test requires a small blood sample.

When should I get it?

You can take this test if you currently do not have symptoms and/or have recovered from COVID or if you would like to know if your body has antibodies to the virus.

 

Nasal (lower) Test – PCR

Primary Difference

This less-invasive test uses a swab tip that is inserted into the lower (anterior) end of each nostril.

How does it work?

This test uses a technology called PCR (polyamerase chain reaction), which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

This test uses a swab tip that is inserted into the lower (anterior) end of each nostril.

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

Saliva/Anterior Nares Test

Primary Difference

This test can detect early onset infection with very high accuracy.

How does it work?

This test uses a technology called PCR (polyamerase chain reaction), which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

This is a nasopharyngeal (nose/throat) test which takes only seconds and may be mildly uncomfortable.

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.