1. There is a viral
test to see if you have the infection right now. This is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) RNA test that looks for bits of
the virus. In order to get an appropriate sample with a swab that may be placed in the nose, the throat or possibly just in
the mouth. This testing takes several hours after the swab makes it to the special lab that has the equipment to run the sample.
These are the tests that were significantly backed up at some of the large labs. It took several days to get the reports,
but is now down to about 48 hours. The test is to help determine treatment for individuals.
+ A positive tests tells us a person is infected and
should be watched carefully for the possible development of deadly symptoms. While most (over 80%) of us do well and have
symptoms mostly like a cold, some may become extremely ill, with high fever, or shortness of breath or other symptoms that
should lead them to the hospital.
- On the other hand a negative test doesn't mean anything because it tells us only
that a person was negative at the moment in time the test was performed and says nothing about what may happen twenty minutes
later when they may be exposed at the grocery. It is not helpful for any decision-making purpose. If people are confused about
the test and think a negative test is predictive in some way they are mistaken. No medical or workplace decision should ever
be based on a report of a negative test.