How are rapid COVID-19 tests different from other tests?
  • Rapid tests use a swab from the nose or throat. The swab is analyzed at the doctor’s office or clinic where you are tested. Test results from a rapid test should be available in one hour or less. 
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests are still the most accurate. PCR tests also use a swab from the nose or throat. PCR tests are not rapid and the swab must be sent to a laboratory to analyze the test. Wait times for PCR test results can be as short as 24- 48 hours. If laboratories are overwhelmed it can take a week or more to get results. 
  • We encourage you to ask any testing provider how long it will take to get your results and how you will be contacted to get your results. 

Show All Answers

1. Should I get tested?
2. Where can I get tested?
3. What should I know about At-Home testing?
4. How do I order the free At-Home rapid testing kit?
5. How can I get to a testing site if I don’t have transportation?
6. If I have no symptoms, should I get tested for COVID-19?
7. What is the difference between the tests available?
8. Should I get tested if I think I have been re-infected?
9. What about COVID-19 at-home tests if I am blind or low vision?
10. Where can I get ongoing care including primary care if I am uninsured?
11. How much does it cost to get a COVID-19 test?
12. What about antibody/serologic testing?
13. Where can I find more testing resources and information?
14. What should I bring when I get tested?
15. How do I get my results from my test?
16. How soon will I get my results?
17. What is the difference between a rapid test and quick lab turn-around time?
18. How are rapid COVID-19 tests different from other tests?
19. What are the different types of rapid COVID-19 tests available?
20. What should I know about rapid testing before getting a rapid test?
21. What questions should I ask the site that is conducting rapid testing?
22. What options are there for a homebound person to get tested or vaccinated?
23. What are the requirements for travel?