Where can I get a test?
Many places offer coronavirus testing, including some hospitals, emergency clinics, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices. Some churches and fire stations also offer tests. Airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, and American Airlines offer tests at the airport or at nearby transit locations for passengers flying to specific destinations. Some airports have clinics in terminals. Companies including LabCorp’s CareCube and Pixel will send you a test and you send back a sample. They promise to send you your results within 12 to 34 hours or 36 hours. JetBlue has partnered with Vault Health for mail-in testing.
First, contact your doctor’s office to find out what testing options are available and how long it will take to get results. If you don’t have a primary care provider, a good place to start is to visit the city and state health department’s website, which outlines the various testing options and locations.
I have a journey ahead of me. When should i take my test?
You should have a coronavirus test carried out before you travel. The exact time can be difficult to find out, but you can’t wait too long to take the test as you may not get the results back in time to start your journey.
For these reasons, many destinations including France, Aruba, Bonaire, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii require that the test be performed within 72 hours of departure. Abu Dhabi and Croatia require test results to be available within 48 hours of departure. Some airlines, such as Egypt Air, allow travelers to use the results of a test performed up to 96 hours prior to travel, depending on where and where they are traveling.
The coronavirus outbreak>
Things to know about testing
Confused by Coronavirus Testing Conditions? Let us help:
- antibody: A protein produced by the immune system that can recognize and attach to certain types of viruses, bacteria or other invaders.
- Antibody test / serology test: A test that detects antibodies specific to the coronavirus. About a week after the coronavirus infects the body, antibodies start appearing in the blood. Because antibodies take so long to develop, an antibody test cannot reliably diagnose an ongoing infection. However, it can identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus in the past.
- Antigen test: This test detects parts of coronavirus proteins called antigens. Antigen tests are quick and only take five minutes. However, they are less accurate than tests that detect genetic material from the virus.
- Coronavirus: Any virus that belongs to the Orthocoronavirinae virus family. The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is known as SARS-CoV-2.
- Covid19: The disease caused by the new coronavirus. The name stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019.
- Isolation and quarantine: Isolation is separating people who know they have a contagious disease from those who are not sick. Quarantine refers to restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a virus.
- Nasopharyngeal smear: A long, flexible stick with a soft swab that is inserted deep into the nose to collect samples from the space where the nasal cavity meets the throat. Samples for coronavirus tests can also be taken with swabs that don’t go as deep into the nose – sometimes called nasal swabs – or with mouth or throat swabs.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): Scientists use PCR to make millions of copies of genetic material in a sample. With the help of PCR tests, researchers can detect the coronavirus even when it is scarce.
- Viral load: The amount of virus in a person’s body. In people infected with the coronavirus, viral loads can peak before symptoms, if any.
You can enter a testing site, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment and not wait until the last minute to get the test.
How long does it take to get the test results back?
It depends on.
If you are taking a test in preparation for a trip, you should look for test providers who will give you results back within 36 hours so you can get your results by the time you leave. Note that different tests have different waiting times for results. Rapid tests usually give results in less than an hour, and PCR test results usually take a few days because the samples must be sent to a laboratory.
There is always the possibility that your results will not arrive on time. So try to be flexible about your travel plans.