COVID-19 is highly contagious with many different symptoms and doesn’t present with
symptoms in some people. Testing is the best way to know if you’re carrying the virus and thereby are at risk of spreading it. With many kinds of tests available and rapidly evolving information, COVID testing can be confusing. Here’s a guide to your most common testing questions. Schedule your free test now at Caspervcovid.com
- What kinds of tests are available?
- PCR tests:
- Most accurate
- Tests used by CNCHD, Wyoming Medical Center facilities and other
- Uses a nasopharyngeal (where nasal cavities meet the throat) swab
- Sensitivity of the test detects even minimal amounts of virus
- Extremely low false positive and false negative rates
- Typically 48-72 hour turn around for results
- Antigen tests:
- Typically in the form of a rapid test
- Not as accurate or sensitive
- Moderate likelihood of false results
- More likely to give a false negative
- Less likely to give a false positive
- Antibody tests:
- Look for markers in blood that indicate whether you may have had the
- Cannot distinguish between current infection or a recovered infection
- I tested negative. Am I safe from COVID?
- No. A negative test only represents a snapshot in time
- Even if you’re negative today, you could be positive tomorrow.
- Positive tests depend on how long it takes the virus to build up or infect you.
- I was a contact and want to get tested. What now?
- CNCHD recommends testing no earlier than 5-7 days after the last contact with the positive; ideally, test on Day 5 and Day 11 after exposure to the positive case.
- If you test too early after exposure, tests may not detect the virus as accurately.
- Do I qualify for a free test with the CNCHD if _____:
- I am exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms? Yes.
- I’ve had close contact with a confirmed positive case? Yes.
- I’m traveling or going on vacation? No. CNCHD tests are funded by state
resources, so our tests are only available for symptoms and/or contact
- I am scheduled for a preoperative, pre-surgical or a doctor’s appointment?No. CNCHD tests are funded by state resources, so our tests are only available for symptoms and/or contact.
- if I was exposed to someone who was exposed to a positive (i.e. contact of a
contact or a tertiary contact)? No. Neither testing nor quarantining is necessary
unless the person with whom you’ve had direct contact tests positive.
- I don’t qualify for a free CNCHD test, but I still want to be tested. What can I do?
- Contact Wyoming Medical Center (307.233.0291) for tests unrelated to
symptoms and/or contact (i.e. travel or other medical reasons).
- Contact your primary care provider to learn more about additional testing options.
- What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
- Isolation is for confirmed positive cases and lasts a minimum of 10 days.
- Quarantine is for contacts and lasts 14 days from the last confirmed date of contact with the positive case.
- In some cases, this can result in earlier return to activities
- Even with a negative test, you should continue to monitor for a full 14 days
- If you are quarantined with a confirmed positive household member, your 14 day quarantine begins after the positive person has completed 10 day isolation and is
- The virus has a 14 day incubation period, so you could catch it and
develop illness anytime during the 14 day period.
- Any kind of re-exposure resets quarantine with a new 14 days each time.
- Self-isolation: someone who is ill and waiting for test results
- If results are negative and after you are symptom-free, return to normal
- If results are negative, but your symptoms do not improve, contact your
primary care provider for further evaluation and testing if necessary.
- When is a positive case considered recovered? Only after all of the following:
- A positive case is considered recovered after a minimum of 10 days have passed
since symptom onset or test collection AND;
- No fever for 24 hours without the use of medications AND;
- Symptoms have improved.
- I was at a business, location, event, etc. with confirmed positive cases. What should I
- Monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your last possible exposure.
- Stay home and get tested if you’re sick.
- Additional resources: