How Soon Can You Test Positive for COVID-19?

Besides wearing a well-fitting mask anytime you’re out in public, taking a COVID-19 test can help stop the virus from spreading. Many ask, “How soon can you test positive for COVID?” 

While people know to isolate if they test positive, knowing how soon you should test can be trickier. We’ll explore how various factors impact this timeline and when to explore covid testing in Eatontown, NJ

How Soon Should You Take a Test? 

You can produce a positive result for COVID-19 days after exposure. Sometimes it takes at least a week for a positive result to happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing for COVID-19 five days following exposure

What If You’re Vaccinated? 

Fully vaccinated patients should wait between three to five days to test following exposure to COVID. Results tend to be less accurate within the first three days. Testing during this time can result in false negative tests. 

What If You’re Unvaccinated? 

Unvaccinated patients should quarantine when experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms or after exposure to the virus. If you have symptoms, you should take a test. If you don’t have symptoms, wait five to seven days before testing. 

How Long Is COVID-19’s Incubation Period? 

How soon can you test positive for COVID? COVID-19’s incubation period may last up to two weeks. It takes time for COVID to grow in your system.

As a result, early testing may not detect enough genetic material to produce a positive test. 

Are Rapid Tests Fine to Take? 

Rapid tests are generally much faster than other testing options like RT-PCR. They’re less effective, but they still have their uses. 

For example, vaccinated patients exposed to the virus but not showing symptoms after five days may use a rapid test. Unvaccinated patients should use a more accurate test even if they’re not symptomatic after several days. 

Regardless, vaccinated and unvaccinated patients should explore RT-PCR testing if they have symptoms and can’t quarantine for an extended period. 

Call Us Today for Your Testing Solutions

Symptoms like shortness of breath overlap with those of the common flu, making it hard to tell if you have COVID-19 unless you test. How soon can you test positive for COVID? The answer depends on factors like whether you’re vaccinated. 

At A2Z Diagnostics, we have many diagnostic services available regarding COVID-19. Eatontown, NJ, residents can call us at (732) 542-3200 to learn more!