COVID-19 Testing Overview /COVID-19 検査概要(English)

Skip directly to site content
Skip directly to page options
Skip directly to A-Z link

Self-Checker

Coronavirus Self-Checker

Restart

×

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC twenty four seven. Saving Lives, Protecting People

×

Submit

HOME
COVID-19

COVID-19

Coronavirus Home

Home

Your Health

Vaccines

Cases & Data

Work & School

Healthcare Workers

Health Depts

Science

More

Section Navigation

CDC Home

Important update: Healthcare facilities

CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination.
Learn more

Find the latest information:

Aquatics FAQs

Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

COVID-19 Homepage

UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.

UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to KnowCOVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know

Updated May 3, 2022

LanguagesEspañol简体中文Tiếng Việt한국어Other Languages

Print

Minus

Related Pages

covid test icon Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests: Order 8 free tests now so you have them when you need them.external icon

Types of COVID-19 Tests
COVID-19 tests can detect either SARS-CoV-2 or biomarkers of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or antibodies that your body makes after getting COVID-19 or after getting vaccinated.
Tests for SARS-CoV-2 tell you if you have an infection at the time of the test. This type of test is called a “viral” test because it looks for viral infection. Antigen tests, Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) and other tests are viral tests.
Tests for antibodies may tell you if you have had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body creates antibodies after getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 or after getting vaccinated against COVID-19. These tests are called “antibody” or “serology” tests.
Testing is very important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You should always discuss your test results with your healthcare provider.
Viral Tests

A viral test tells you if you are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using samples that come from your nose or mouth. There are two types of viral tests: rapid tests and laboratory tests. COVID-19 testing is one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
Rapid Point-of-Care tests, test performed or interpreted by someone other than the individual being tested, can be performed in minutes and can include antigen tests, some NAATs, and other tests.

Self-tests are rapid tests that can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.

Laboratory tests can take days to complete and include RT-PCR and other types of NAATs.

play circle light iconWatch Video: Viral Test for COVID-19 [00:01:08] Antibody Tests
An antibody test (also known as a serology test) can detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in your blood. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes to help fight infection and protect you from getting sick in the future.
Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection, but they may indicate if you had a past infection. Antibody tests help learn about how human immune systems defend against the virus, as well as learn about population-level protection. If you get an antibody test after receiving a vaccine, you might test positive by some (but not all) antibody tests. This depends on which type of antibody the specific test detects.
Antibody testing is not currently recommended to determine:

If you have a current infection.
If you have immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following COVID-19 vaccination.
Whether you need to get a booster following COVID-19 vaccination.
Whether you need to quarantine after a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19.

play circle light iconWatch Video: Antibody Test for COVID-19 [00:01:06]

Science at CDCScientific evidence and studies behind specific COVID-19 guidance and recommendationsScience BriefsMMWR COVID-19 Reports

Need a COVID-19 Test?

Reasons to Get Tested
If you have COVID-19 symptoms
At least 5 days after known or suspected close contact to COVID-19
For screening (schools, workplaces, congregate settings, etc.)
Before and after travel
When asked by a healthcare professional or public health official

Types of Viral TestsLaboratory Test

Sample can either be a nasal swab or saliva
Results usually in 1-3 days
Results are reliable for people with and without symptoms
No follow-up test required
Common example: PCR test

Rapid Test

Sample is usually a nasal swab
Results usually in 15-30 minutes
Results may be less reliable for people without symptoms
Follow-up test may be required
Common example: Antigen test

Actions After ResultIf Positive Result

Isolate for at least 5 days. Learn more about isolation timelines and precautions
Seek a confirmatory, follow-up laboratory test if recommended by healthcare professional
Monitor your symptoms

If Negative Result

If up to update on vaccines: return to normal activities. Wear a mask indoors in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high.
If not up to date on vaccines and have symptoms or exposure: quarantine for at least 5 days.
If not up to date on vaccines and have no symptoms or exposure: return to normal activities. Take steps to get up to date on vaccines to protect yourself and others.

download light iconDownload Graphic: Need a COVID-19 Test? pdf icon[1Page, 341 KB] Testing Tools
These chatbots ask a series of questions, and provide recommended actions and resources based on your responses.

user md chat light iconCoronavirus Self-Checker
A tool to help you make decisions on when to seek testing and medical care.

Get Started

About the Tool

Need additional help? CDC’s Viral Testing Tool is an online, mobile-friendly tool that asks a series of questions, and provides recommended actions and resources based on a user’s responses.

Print Resources
Do Your Part: Get Testedpdf icon[PDF – 426 KB, 1 Page]COVID-19 Testing If You Are Vaccinatedpdf icon[PDF – 1 page, 129 KB]3key-steps-when-waiting-for-COVID-19-resultspdf icon[PDF – 2 Pages, 232 KB]What Your Test Results Meanpdf icon[PDF – 216 KB, 1 page]Good Things to Know About A COVID-19 Testpdf icon[PDF – 55KB, 1 Page]What to Expect When Getting Testedpdf icon[PDF – 183 KB, 1 page]

Resources
COVID-19 Testing Resourcespdf icon

Related Pages
Test for Current Infection
Test for Past Infection

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Syndicate

Last Updated May 3, 2022 Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

homeYour HealthAbout COVID-19plus iconTransmissionplus iconHow COVID-19 SpreadsReinfectionFrequently Asked QuestionsAnimals & COVID-19Basics of COVID-19Antibodies and COVID-19COVID-19 by CountyVariants of the Virusplus iconAbout VariantsOmicron VariantUnderstanding VariantsSymptomsplus iconCoronavirus Self-CheckerTestingplus iconTesting OverviewSelf-Testingplus iconSelf-Testing VideosTest for Current Infectionplus iconViral Testing ToolTest for Past InfectionContact Tracingplus iconHow to Determine a Close Contact for COVID-19How To Talk To Your Close ContactsPrevent Getting Sickplus iconProtect YourselfGet a VaccineMasksplus iconTypes of Masks and RespiratorsUse and Care of MasksFind Free Masks (N95 Respirators)How to Use Your N95 RespiratorFree N95 Respirator ManufacturersSmall and Large GatheringsCleaning Your HomeImproving Ventilation in Your HomeIf You Are Sickplus iconWhat to Do If You Are SickQuarantine & Isolationplus iconQuarantine & Isolation BackgroundQuarantine and Isolation InfographicsQuarantine and Isolation (Q&I) Calculator FAQCaring for SomeoneBreastfeeding & Caring for NewbornsTreatments & MedicationsLong COVID (Post-COVID Conditions)plus iconCaring for People with Post-COVID ConditionsPatient Appointment TipsSpecific Groups of Peopleplus iconFamilies & Childrenplus iconFamilies & COVID-19COVID-19 Precautions in Schools – Parent FAQMedical Conditionsplus iconPeople with Moderate to Severe AsthmaPregnant PeopleTravelplus iconDomestic Travel During COVID-19International Travelplus iconInternational Travel For U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, and ImmigrantsInternational Travel For Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrantsRequirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air PassengersTravel Recommendations by DestinationHow COVID-19 Travel Health Notice Levels Are DeterminedMask RecommendationCruise Ship TravelTravel FAQsCommunication Resources for Travelersplus iconAir Travel Toolkit for Airline PartnersSouthern Border Toolkit for PartnersTravel and Vaccination Social Media Toolkit for Partners

email_03Get Email Updates To receive email updates about COVID-19, enter your email address: Email Address What’s this? Submit

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Visit CDC-INFO

Call 800-232-4636

Email CDC-INFO

Open 24/7

CDC INFORMATION

About CDC
Jobs
Funding
Policies
File Viewers & Players
Other Languages

Privacy
FOIA
No Fear Act
OIG
Nondiscrimination
Accessibility

Vulnerability Disclosure Policy |
Español

CONNECT WITH CDC

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
Snapchat

Youtube
Syndicate
CDC TV
RSS
Email

CONTACT CDC

Visit CDC-INFO

Call 800-232-4636

Email CDC-INFO

Open 24/7

ABOUT CDC

About CDC
Jobs
Funding

POLICIES

Policies
File Viewers & Players
Other Languages
Privacy
FOIA
No Fear Act
OIG
Nondiscrimination
Accessibility

Vulnerability Disclosure Policy |
Español

CDC Website Exit Disclaimer external icon

LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE

Español
繁體中文
Tiếng Việt
한국어
Tagalog
Русский
العربية
Kreyòl Ayisyen
Français
Polski
Português
Italiano
Deutsch
日本語
فارسی
English

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn

Snapchat

Youtube
Syndicate
CDC TV
RSS
Email

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

USA.gov

CDC Website Exit Disclaimer external icon

LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE

Español

繁體中文

Tiếng Việt

한국어

Tagalog

Русский

العربية

Kreyòl Ayisyen

Français

Polski

Português

Italiano

Deutsch

日本語

فارسی

English

SAS

stats

Exit Notification / Disclaimer Policy

Close

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
You will be subject to the destination website’s privacy policy when you follow the link.
CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.

For more information on CDC’s web notification policies, see Website Disclaimers.

Cancel
Continue