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How are suspected COVID-19 cases confirmed?

People suspected of being infected by the COVID-19 virus will have respiratory samples (i.e. mucus) taken by healthcare professionals that will then be analyzed by public health labs, hospital labs, or commercial labs like LabCorp or Quest. Healthcare professionals will work with public health departments and the CDC to determine who needs to be tested.

The CDC advises that people should be tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19, have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19, or have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local, or state health department. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

Updated 3 December 2020

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