When should I get a COVID-19 test?

Covid-19 Signs And Symptoms
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The focus on the PCR COVID test in Londonis still rising after the hit of the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic on the nation. With cases still occurring, people are finding the idea of the test more demanding as they wonder whether or not they have contracted the virus due to potential exposure.

However, the challenge is still the same like it was at the start of the pandemic; the shortage of testing materials still hinders the testing effort. To manage this, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released measures on the part of the population that should be tested for coronavirus.

To know who should be tested for coronavirus, we need to understand how long a person should wait before getting tested and how long it will take for the result to come out.

Is the COVID-19 test that important?

Yes. Effective testing of COVID-19 is important to curb the spread of the virus. This is because the test identifies the infected people, who will be treated and isolated to prevent further contacts and spread of the virus. Testing is also needed to help the government know the rate at which the virus spreads and its prevalence in a specific community.

For these same reasons, the health officials are taking extra measures to ensure that their testing is efficient. This means that they are still dealing with a shortage of materials; hence they strive to test only people that are most in need of it.

Who should test for COVID-19?

Since we know how the virus spreads, it is essential to know about the new recommendations of the CDC. Apart from testing people that have symptoms of COVID-19 or those referred by healthcare providers or the department of health, the CDC now recommends that testing should also be done for asymptomatic patients that have been exposed to a person with a confirmed case.

This recommendation came because of the significance of the pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission. The CDC, through this guidance, reinforced the need to test asymptomatic patients and close contacts of a documented COVID-19 infection.

This means that people that have not been exposed to the virus or without symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection do not need a test. However, there is an exception for people that are due to undergo a process in the hospital or doctor’s office. In this case, your health team will tell you all you need to know about this situation.

Read more: COVID-19: All You Need to Know About Coronavirus

How long should I wait before testing for COVID-19 after exposure?

Many people test positive for this virus three to five days after exposure. However, the CDC says that the median incubation time for the virus is between four to five days. This is also the average time it takes for a person to develop symptoms. However, the CDC notes that the incubation period for this virus is between 2 and 14 days.This means that if you get tested a day after exposure to the virus, your chances of having a negative result is very high, even when the infection is present.

However, the exact number of days you have to wait before testing for the virus depends on where you live. This is because the wait time varies from city to city, state to state, and system to system. There could be a variety of waiting times in a town.

Though some people may have just a slight delay to deal with, others may need to wait in hour-long lines or even stay a few weeks waiting for their turn to receive the test.

How long will it take for my COVID-19result to be out?

There is no exact waiting time for the result to be out. The time it takes for you to get your result will depend on the facility your sample was sent to for testing. This means that some people could get their test result within 24 hours, while others have to wait for as long as two weeks to get theirs. It is just one of those very frustrating variables of COVID-19.

It is possible to get your test result within minutes if the test is done in the facility where your sample is collected. However, if it has to be sent to an outside laboratory, and the lab receives so many samples, you may need to wait for a few days.

The waiting time also increases as the number of cases skyrocket. So, more people will be tested, more samples will be sent to the facility, and longer waiting time for result.


COVID-19 test is most important for people with symptoms and those exposed to a confirmed case of the virus (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic). If you have not been exposed to the virus and do not have symptoms, you have no business getting tested.

Also, the waiting time for getting the PCR swab test in London and receiving the result depends on where you like and the facility you are testing.

You can walk into our facility for a rapid PCR test in London.

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