We have heard from members who are scrambling to immediately book PCR tests following an exposure. Although PCR and other molecular tests are more sensitive than rapid antigen tests, they aren’t magic, and they cannot immediately detect the virus following exposure.
Rushing out to a testing centre immediately following a close contact doesn’t make sense:
- ALL forms of COVID-19 tests require time for the virus to incubate to a detectable level. Seeking a test too soon will result in potentially false and misleading (negative) results.
- You will be exposing yourself to individuals who likely do have COVID-19 while at the testing centre.
- You will be taking a spot for someone who requires a COVID-19 test, which are in short supply, and needlessly burdening an overtaxed healthcare system.
Please click HERE for an explanation from the PHAC about PCR testing, and when they are most accurate following exposure.
Your province may have specific guidelines for accessing PCR testing which you should follow. A list of provincial COVID-19 resource pages can be consulted HERE.