What types are there and how are they different?


You have probably heard a lot about coronavirus testing lately. If you think you have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and need a test, contact your family doctor or local health department immediately. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, EU/EEA Member States and the UK have implemented measures to prevent and control COVID-19 and, at the same time, curb the negative effects of these measures. There is a need to assess the effects of these measures on the epide- miological situation of COVID-19 to track interventions and their effects and identify gaps in order to improve the response to COVID-19.


Molecular Test: A diagnostic and viral test that uses a nasal or throat swab in most cases, however saliva samples are taken in some situations. A PCR test falls into this category. The results can come same day for some locations or up to a week. Accor- ding to the FDA, “this test is typically highly accurate and usually does not need to be repeated.” This test shows if a patient currently has coronavirus. It cannot show if you were infected with the virus in the past.

Antigen Test: A rapid diagnostic test that uses a nasal or throat swab. Results are typically reported in an hour or less. The FDA reports, “positive results are usually highly accurate, but negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test.” This test diagnosis an active coronavirus infection. This type of test cannot definitively rule out active coronavirus in- fections, according to the FDA. “ Antigen tests are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests,” the FDA said.

Antibody Test: A blood or body fluid test that uses a finger stick or blood draw. Results can be reported the same day or up to three days. Sometimes a second antibody test is needed for accurate results. This test will show if you’ve had coronavirus in the past, but it cannot show whether you actively have the virus.