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How are people tested for COVID-19?

In general, for diagnostic tests, samples are collected from a person’s nose and/or throat using swabs or other collection devices by a healthcare provider in a health care setting. A healthcare professional swabbing the back of the nasal cavity through the nostril is the preferred way to collect a sample to test for COVID-19. Alternatively, a healthcare professional may swab the back of your throat or the inside of the front of the nose. Certain tests may also allow collection of alternative sample types. Additionally, the FDA has authorized some tests for use with home sample collection kits that are prescribed by a doctor and allow the patient to collect the sample at home and send it directly to the lab for analysis.

Learn more about Coronavirus Testing Basics.

Last updated October 16, 2020
Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administrationlinks to external site

See also: Symptoms and testing