UVA Health experts advise timing on your COVID-19 test

At-home COVID testing (FILE)
At-home COVID testing (FILE)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - If you are wondering the best time to take a COVID-19 test, UVA Health has answers.

Doctors say the best window for testing is three to five days after you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19.

But if you are feeling symptoms, you should get a test right away no matter what symptom you have.

Doctors say some people will test positive for a while after catching the virus, while others will only be positive for a few days. They say that’s why usually five days is the longest you should wait to get swabbed.

“The best time to do that would be about three days after exposure,” Doctor Bill Petri with UVA Health said. “You could do it once more like five days after exposure, and then after that, there’s probably no value in doing repeat testing.”

Dr. Petri says it’s best to test on the day that you have symptoms, but he says it’s also important to remember the reason you are testing is to see if you should isolate or not, and if you should seek medicine.

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