This test checks for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19), a primarily respiratory illness.
COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales air, droplets containing the virus go into the air and onto surfaces and objects around them. Other people are exposed to the virus by breathing in these droplets or by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching infected surfaces.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms include:
Cases of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. Some people who are infected don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel sick. Most people have mild symptoms. Severe cases may require hospitalization and can even be fatal. Severe cases are more likely to occur in older adults (65 years of age and older), as well as pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health issues (such as lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney disease or on dialysis, liver disease, cancer, transplant, AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis). However, serious illness can also occur in younger adults.
There is currently no treatment for COVID-19. Not all patients with COVID-19 will require medical attention, and most people recover within 2 weeks without any specific treatment. For severe cases, hospitalization and respiratory support may be required. For mild cases, treatment focuses on managing symptoms.
This test may be helpful if you:
*Close contact includes being within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time or having direct contact with the fluids of someone with COVID-19 (such as being coughed on)
If you are a healthcare professional who believes you have been directly exposed while at work by a patient, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working while waiting for your results. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the Department of Health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.
This test may not be helpful if you:
Your test results will confirm whether or not you are infected with COVID-19. If your results are positive, it is important to limit your exposure to other people and continue to monitor your symptoms. If your results are negative, the virus was not present in the sample you provided. It is important to note that the virus may not be detected by the test in early stages of infection. Furthermore, the virus may not be detected if the sample is not collected as directed. If you have reason to believe you have been exposed, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider for further evaluation or to get retested*.
After receiving your results, you will have an opportunity to speak with a licensed physician, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps in care.
*Although the possibility is low, a false negative result should be considered if you have had recent exposure to the virus along with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The possibility of a false negative result should especially be considered if your recent exposure or symptoms suggest that COVID-19 is likely, and diagnostic tests for other respiratory illnesses are negative.
There is no risk involved in getting this test. The test is conducted by inserting a swab into your nose and into the back of your throat. You may also have the option of providing samples of your spit and phlegm from your cough.
You do not need to do anything to prepare for the test. Further instructions will be provided to you at the lab or in your test kit.
Please refer to CDC and your State and local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements.
PWNHealth is an independent healthcare provider network that provides oversight services to you in connection with the laboratory testing that you have requested. PWNHealth and its services are independent from the laboratory and company from whom you requested and registered for the test and their services.
If your test results are abnormal, PWNHealth’s Care Coordination Team may attempt to contact you to notify you of your results. You will also have an opportunity to schedule a telehealth consult with an independent licensed physician or other healthcare provider from PWNHealth, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps.