Information You Need: I think I may have COVID-19, but why should I get tested?

If you believe that you have COVID-19, you may wonder why getting tested is even necessary. Here are some reasons why getting a diagnostic test to determine if you have COVID-19 is vital to your health, the health of others, and getting life back to normal. 

  1. Getting tested tells you if and when to isolate
  • By receiving a test you will have more information about if you have the virus.  If you receive a positive test you will use the date that you tested positive to start your 10 day isolation. It is important to isolate at least 10 days and until 24 hours past your last fever.  Completing a full isolation period helps to ensure that you are not contagious and do not accidentally spread the virus to others.
  1. Contact tracers can help contact your close contacts after a positive test
  • If you receive a positive test result, contact tracers may call you to check in on how you’re feeling, to help provide you with information about how to isolate, and to answer any questions you may have. These tracers can also contact any close contacts you have had during the time you are or were contagious to anonymously let them know that they should quarantine as well. 
  1. Testing helps increase our knowledge of the virus
  • The more information we have regarding testing and who is testing positive helps scientists learn more about how the virus is spreading, how fast the virus is spreading, who the virus is affecting most, and what can be done to slow the spread.
  1. Testing can improve the accuracy of statistics and data surrounding the virus
  • If people choose not to get tested for the virus, but are actually positive for COVID-19 they are not included in the data. This means that if many people with the virus do not get tested, counts of positive cases do not accurately reflect the number of COVID-19 cases. Therefore, there are likely many more cases of COVID-19 than the statistics report.
  1. Testing can save lives
  • The faster someone gets tested, the faster they are aware of their COVID-19 status. This means that they are likely to isolate quickly and avoid spreading the virus to others. Further, if someone is aware of their diagnosis they can receive hospital treatment or medical care more quickly.
  1. Testing can help you make important decisions
  • Knowledge is power! If you are not feeling well, have been around someone who tested positive, or are wanting to make sure that you do not have the virus, getting a test can help put you at ease by knowing your COVID-19 status. 

What can testing not do?

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