How long does it take to get COVID test results?

❤️ If you've found this 'How long does it take' article helpful, share it with others ❤️
Reading Time: 2 minutes

How long it takes to get your coronavirus (COVID-19) test result depends on the type of test you had. There are 3 main types of test:

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test: PCR is a molecular test that analyzes your upper respiratory specimen, looking for genetic material (ribonucleic acid or RNA) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scientists use the PCR technology to amplify small amounts of RNA from specimens into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which is replicated until SARS-CoV-2 is detectable if present. The PCR test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since authorized for use in February 2020. It’s accurate and reliable.[1] How long does it take to get COVID PCR-test results? You should receive your PRC test results as early as 24 hours after sample collection, but sometimes it can take a few days, depending on how long it takes the sample to reach the laboratory.
  2. Rapid Lateral Flow Test (LFTs): In contrast to PCR, LFTs are primarily being used to identify likely infectious individuals by detecting SARS-CoV-2 antigen from people who are shedding virus but who may not have classical COVID-19 symptoms, or at least do not use symptomatic testing centres. LFTs are an established technology, for example used in pregnancy test kits, that has been repurposed for detecting SARS-CoV-2 surface proteins (antigens). The LFT do not require laboratory processing and results are provided within 10–30 minutes. However LTFs have a lower analytical sensitivity than RT-PCR (and thus are unlikely to provide positive results long after the infectious period), and a high specificity.[2]
  3. Antibody (or serology) tests: This tests can’t diagnose active infection, but they can help to tell if a person has immunity to Covid-19. [3] Turnaround time may vary depending on where you get tested. Results are usually available 1 to 3 business days after testing.
PCR-test24 hours
LFTs10-30 minutes
Antibody test1-3 days
How long does it take to get COVID test results?

According to reliable resources mentioned above it takes:

~ 0 days, 0 hours, 10 mins, 0 secs

* The above data is an average value.