With an overwhelming amount of information coming out about COVID-19 testing, some of it conflicting and contradictory, it's easy to get confused about when to get tested and how testing works.
To help sort it all out, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) News, turned to a panel of testing experts, including Bobbi Pritt, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Clinical Microbiology, to answer questions about COVID-19 testing.
In the AAMC article, Dr. Pritt distinguishes between COVID-19 tests that detect an active infection — PCR tests and antigen tests — and tests that determine if a person has had a prior infection — antibody tests. She also notes that although collecting a specimen sample at home is possible now, the sample needs to be processed in a lab to receive the results. At-home testing in which a patient performs the test and determines its results at home still is in development, and it likely won't be ready for quite some time.