Should I Get Tested for Coronavirus if I have a sore throat

There are many possible causes of a sore throat. You could have been exposed to an irritant, like a pet or something in the air. You could have strep throat, or a virus. It is even possible to get a sore throat without being sick, for example by yelling too loud at a sporting event or a music concert. But the recent COVID-19 pandemic has made having a sore throat more concerning because a sore throat is also a common symptom of the coronavirus. So, how do you know when you should get tested for COVID-19? Below is more information on when and if you should get tested for COVID-19 if you have a sore throat.

Should You Get Tested for Coronavirus?

If you were recently around someone who has just tested positive for COVID-19, you’re probably wondering if you should get tested as well. Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, dry cough, it is good to still know for sure that you don’t have the virus. Without a negative test it has been advised that you need to quarantine from others for a period of time. However, testing too early is also not helpful, as an early negative result may be a false negative. It is important to be aware of the right window of time to receive the most accurate results. If you do have symptoms, such as a sore throat, you should avoid others and get a test scheduled.

When Should I Test for the Coronavirus?

The best time to get tested for COVID-19 is approximately five to seven days after exposure. The virus has a bit longer incubation period than other viruses we are used to, meaning it takes some time for it to build up in your system and show up on a test. What this means is that if you get tested too early (for example the day after you were exposed), your samples may not contain enough of the virus’s genetic material to get a valid positive result. The negative result therefore does not mean that you do not have the virus, but rather that your body does not contain high enough viral levels for a positive result.

What To Do If You Have a Positive COVID-19 Test

If you wait until the right testing window and receive a positive COVID-19 test, you’ll want to isolate yourself from others, regardless of if you are vaccinated or not, until 5 days have passed since you tested positive for the virus. However, if you are symptomatic, you should end your isolation only if you have been symptom-free for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication). If you are still experiencing symptoms even 5 days after your positive test, you should remain isolated from others. Please note that these situations refer only to people who have mild cases of COVID-19. Those with more severe cases or who are immunocompromised may require additional testing to determine when they can be safely around others.

Sore Throat with a Fever