Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 PCR Testing

Mayo Clinic Laboratories has developed testing that can aid in the detection of the virus that causes COVID-19 using a technique known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The following addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about this testing. 

Q: What Mayo Clinic Laboratories tests are currently available to aid in the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection?



Q: What is the difference between these tests? When should one be ordered vs. another?

Tests are used to detect the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. We have enabled options to help us add testing capacity for providers around the world. The tests work equally well in detecting the COVID-19 virus. Your Mayo Clinic Laboratories representative will provide guidance on which test should be ordered by your institution. 

Q: Does a positive result mean a patient has COVID-19?

A detected result indicates that SARS-CoV-2 RNA is present and suggests the diagnosis of COVID-19. Test results should always be considered in the context of a patient’s clinical history, physical examination, and epidemiologic exposures when making the final diagnosis. 

Q: Who should order this test?

This test should be requested only on patients who meet current clinical and/or epidemiologic criteria defined by federal, state, or local public health directives. Visit the CDC website for guidelines. 

Q: Does Mayo Clinic Laboratories offer a combination COVID-19 and influenza test? 

Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers the tests  COVID and HPFLU. Due to assay performance issues simultaneous qualitative detection and differentiation of COFLU is not longer available. For additional details, see test update here.