When are rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 most accurate? Rapid antigen tests are most accurate when they are used in people who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, especially during the first week of illness. People who test negative may still be infected.
How long can you test positive for COVID-19 after having it? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn’t mean they are contagious. When it comes to testing, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus following infection.
When should you get tested for COVID-19? Current guidelines from the CDC recommend testing at home right away if you get symptoms. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it recommends testing at least 5 days after exposure – and if that test is negative, it says to consider testing again 1-2 days later.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19 with laboratory or rapid tests for free?
Many pharmacies and community centers provide access to free COVID-19 tests. Visit Community-Based Testing Centers or the Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) website to find testing locations in your area.