COVID-19: testing positive or negative could be about timing


ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Not only is “when” you get tested for COVID-19 important, but “what” you do even if you’ve tested negative for it, according to Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith.

Smith explained if you’re swabbed for COVID-19 before your symptomatic, or the virus is detectable, this could result in a negative test. That means even though you think you’re in the clear, you have the sickness and could be spreading it.

This is why Dr. Smith says it’s critical you quarantine even if you’ve tested negative, but have come into contact with a positive patient.

“It’s very important if someone has been exposed to someone who has tested positive, they need to be in 14 days of quarantining, regardless of the result of that test,” said Dr. Smith.

If you know there is someone you’ve been in contact with who has tested positive, Dr. Smith says you need to self-quarantine right away, don’t wait to be told.

He also says antibody testing should only be done on people who have recovered from the virus.

Coronavirus in Arkansas: State reports record-high 878 new cases

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