When To Get Tested For Covid-19

Posted on: 30 April 2021


With Covid-19 being a relatively new virus, you may struggle to understand what you are and aren't supposed to do. When it comes to Covid-19 testing, you should get tested in a few different situations in order to keep yourself and others safe. This article will give you a breakdown of the different scenarios in which you should get a Covid-19 test.

If You Are Experiencing Symptoms

If you have any of the following symptoms you should get tested:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches

When you are experiencing symptoms and waiting for test results, be sure to isolate yourself at home until you receive a negative result on your Covid-19 test.

After Exposure/Close Contact

Exposure to Covid-19 means that you have been closer than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more to someone who tests positive for Covid-19. After you've come into this close contact with a positive case, you may have contracted Covid-19 from them. For this reason, you should start isolating yourself as soon as you know that the person you were with has tested positive.

In the first few days after exposure, your viral levels may be too low to yield a positive test. However, that does not mean that you do not have the virus. The best thing to do is to stay home, monitor your symptoms, and then get tested after a few days when viral levels are high enough to provide an accurate result.

Before Traveling

If you are traveling from another country into the United States, you will need to submit a negative test within three days prior to departure. This test is required for entry into the U.S. Though a test is not required for travel out of the U.S., it's a good idea to get tested whenever you travel internationally or domestically. 

If You Socialize Without Safety Precautions

If you are out and about in the community, you should have Covid-19 testing routinely. Seeing friends regularly, without adhering to recommended safety measures like social distancing and mask-wearing, can put you and others at risk for contracting Covid-19. Get tested regularly so that you can know quickly if you are positive and have exposed others.

Whenever You Deem Necessary

In some states, anyone is allowed to get a Covid-19 test whenever they would like. If your state offers this option, take advantage of the easy access to the tests and get tested frequently.

Use this guide to help you understand when you need Covid-19 testing to help yourself and others to stay safe.