How long do you need to wait in between Covid-19 PCR test

In 2019, Covid-19 took effect and forced us into playing by its rules. The virus has affected us in several ways we could ever imagine. For the first time in a long time, the whole world froze and was at a standstill; until the advent of the vaccine and numerous testing methods.

PCR test has been the most easily done Covid-19 test, which can be carried out from the comfort of your home. If you are testing because you have been exposed to the disease by being in close range with an infected person, or you are showing symptoms of the disease. It is better to do the “5-day release test“.

In the case of testing for travel requirements on arrival to the UK, you might be quarantined. This is according to the “Test to Release Scheme” implemented in the UK. During your quarantine period, you are advised to pay a private test provider. The provider is to carry out your test after 5 days of arrival. The “5-day test to release” cannot be carried out except you have stayed up the 5 days in the UK. 

After the test, if your result comes back negative, you can end your quarantine. In cases where the results come back positive, you are expected to quarantine for another 10 days. Family and friends around such a person are also advised to quarantine for 10 days.

According to a 2020 study, the Polymerase Chain Reaction test (PCR test) has proven to correctly identify a positive test most times. Only if the test is done within the period of 5-days. Hence, the reason for the “5-day test to release” scheme implemented in the UK.

The waiting period in between your PCR test solely depends on the clinic you send your samples or nasal swabs to. Clinics that are well-equipped to process your result might hand over your result to you within hours after sample submission. While poorly equipped clinics have to send samples to other equipped facilities for processing. 

World Health Organization and various certifying organizations, have approved over 400 antigens and serological antibody diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, including the molecular test. It is also pertinent to put into consideration several factors that determine appropriate testing. These factors are; sample collection method, time length for result, specificity and sensitivity test, and the interpretation of results.

During the period of waiting for your test result, if you are sick or being in close range with an infected person, then self-isolate. Self-isolation is not necessary if you are testing for travel need, as long as you are not sick, or you have not been exposed to the virus.

Adjusting our lives and routine since the advent of the virus is somewhat inconvenient for almost everyone. Yet, we must be very aware of how dangerous the virus is, as well as take precautions during the period of waiting for your test result. This is so as not to unknowingly spread the virus to friends, families and the whole community. 

Furthermore, wearing a nose mask, social distancing, and washing hands frequently is still in vogue and should not be tossed aside. Don’t forget to sanitize, wear your nose masks and notify the authorities if the need arises. We cannot dictate what virus we have to deal with, but we can control them. Staying safe is for you, your loved ones, neighbours, and your environment

Test result provided by PHE/CQC approved UKAS accredited, ISO 15189 2012 Laboratory.
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