SEATTLE - When the coronavirus pandemic started in March there were so many unknowns about the virus, but we've come a long way and we're now learning more about the virus and testing. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about testing.
Who can get the test? Anyone who's concerned about their health can get a Covid-19 test whether you have symptoms or not. This map on the State Department of Health website shows testing sites by county.
Are there exceptions to the Governor's ban on indoor gatherings? Yes there are exceptions to the rule. The first is that all participants must quarantine 14 days prior to the social gathering. The second is quarantine for 7 days prior to the gathering and receives a negative Covid-19 test result no more than 48 hours of the gathering.
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What's the difference between quarantine and isolation? Quarantine means staying at home and away from others in case you are infected and contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for Covid-19 or develop symptoms. Isolation requires your to separate yourself from non-sick people.
How accurate is the Covid-19 test? The test is not 100% accurate. King County Public Health says a false negative may result if the test was taken too early in your infection. To get the most accurate result, the test must be taken 5-7 days after exposure.
What type of test will I get and when will I get results? The type of test you get depends on the testing site, but generally, drive-through clinics swab your nose or throat to determine whether or not the virus is active in your body. Results are usually available within 3 days. DOH says if you test positive for Covid-19 you should isolate yourself for 10 days.