Turn Around Time for COVID-19 Testing

Turn Around Time for COVID-19 Testing
Positive blood test result for the new rapidly spreading Coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China

The duration between testing and releasing of the results for COVID-19 tests for an affected individual varies depending on the availability of testing kits and testing procedures employed among others.

The main tests methods employed include:

  1. Detecting the virus

In this method, specimens from an individual is collected through sputum sample or by carrying out a nasopharyngeal swab. Depending on the availability of testing kits, results can be ready within two days of carrying out the tests. 

  1. Detecting antibodies in an affected individual

This testing procedure is based on the premise that when a body is attacked by pathogens, it produces antibodies to fight off these pathogens. 

With regard to COVID-19, peripheral blood specimens are used to test for presence for antibodies. While the procedure is still at the early stages of testing, it is expected that it will be faster than other procedures and can return results within 15 minutes of testing.

Because of the exponential spread of the COVID-19 flu and limited testing kits, the world’s turnaround time has been taking longer than stated in the methods above. On average, the results are released between four to five days after testing.

As a precautionary measure to protect yourself and loved ones, always strive to follow safety procedures outlined by healthcare givers and authorities. These include practicing social distancing, minimizing unnecessarily traveling, eating healthy, and have some backup power supply.