When should I get tested for the COVID-19 virus?

Recognizing SARS-CoV-2 infection can be difficult for a variety of reasons. While symptoms are one obvious indicator that you should seek help, there are other factors that may make getting tested the best option for you and everyone around you. Don’t ignore these three signs that it’s time to get a COVID-19 test.

You’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s vital that you get tested as soon as possible. The CDC currently lists the following symptoms as signs of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list isn’t exhaustive, and people infected with COVID-19 can have any variation and severity of these symptoms. Whatever you do – Don’t talk yourself out of getting tested, even if you’re only dealing with mild symptoms. Ordering an at-home test is fast, easy, and painless, and you can get answers in just 48 hours.

You don’t feel sick, but you were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19

Usually, we don’t realize we’re carrying a virus until we start to experience certain symptoms. However, asymptomatic infection (when you have COVID-19 and don’t show any symptoms) can contribute to the virus’s spread.

A recent study in the United Kingdom published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology showed how dangerous it is to rely only on symptoms to detect COVID-19. Researchers at University College London analyzed data from a population of 36,061 people tested for COVID-19 at random. Of those tested, 76.5% of people who tested positive reported no symptoms, and 86.1% did not report specific symptoms.

This is not the first study to show the high rate of asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Studies in Italy, Iceland and the US also reported high asymptomatic positivity rates. Because this virus can be carried and transmitted without external symptoms, it’s essential that people get tested often to help control the spread of the pandemic.

You’ve been out in public frequently during the past month

Whether you’re an essential worker or just someone who needs to be out and about for your daily life, opportunities for exposure increase the chances of COVID-19 infection. 

At-home testing for COVID-19 provides an easily accessible option to check your infection status without venturing out. Along with wearing masks when interacting with others and washing your hands frequently, it’s essential that you take every precaution to make sure you don’t spread the virus. Order a test today, and do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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