- What is a COVID-19 PCR test?
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests check for genetic material (viral RNA) produced by the virus. This determines if an individual is actively infected with COVID-19 and can spread it to others.
- Who should get a COVID-19 PCR test?
You should get tested if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19, are a healthcare worker, or you live or work in a place where people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity. This can include homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, group homes, prisons, detention centers, schools, and workplaces.
- A public health department or contact investigator has identified you as someone who should get tested.
This test may also be helpful if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to check to see if you have the virus and can pass it on to others.
- You do not have symptoms but the health department or your clinician identified you as someone who should get tested.
If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about testing and whether to stay home or continue working while waiting for your results. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or your local department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.
If you have any other questions, we recommend that you speak with your primary healthcare provider about testing recommendations to see if testing is right for you at this time.
- What will my COVID-19 PCR test results tell me?
Your test results will confirm whether or not you are currently infected with COVID-19. If your results are positive, it is important to limit your exposure to other people and continue to monitor your symptoms. If your results are negative, the virus was not present in the sample you provided.
- Are there any limitations to COVID-19 PCR tests?
This test may not detect the virus in early stages of infection. Furthermore, the virus may not be detected if the sample is not collected as directed. Although the possibility is low, a false negative result should be considered if you have had recent exposure to the virus along with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- How do I prepare for the test?
You do not need to do anything to prepare for the test. You do not need to fast or stop taking any medications before testing. Further instructions will be provided to you in your test kit.
- How do I reset my PIN?
The PIN you created is only good for 24 hours. After that, you need to create a new PIN.
1. Go to your institution's registration link and click "Register Specimen".
2. Enter your old pin and mobile phone number you originally used when you registered originally and click Login. You should see the message below, "Your pin expired. Click to request a new pin". Click the link.
3. Enter your mobile number and click Request Pin.
4. You should see the message below, "Your pin has been sent...". Check your text message and email to retrieve your new pin. Click "Register Specimen" to use your new pin and register your specimen.