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:
- 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.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/21462-covid-19-and-pcr-testing 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.
- 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.https://www.dovepress.com/recalibrating-sars-cov-2-antigen-rapid-lateral-flow-test-relative-sens-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-CLEP
- 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. https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/features/types-of-covid-19-test-antibody-pcr-antigen/ Turnaround time may vary depending on where you get tested. Results are usually available 1 to 3 business days after testing.
|COVID TEST TYPE||TIME|
|Antibody test||1-3 days|