Testing is essential to controlling the coronavirus. Once people know they are infected, they can isolate, alert others of the risk and stop the spread.
But months into the pandemic, many people still are frustrated and confused about virus testing. Long lines at testing sites, delays in getting results and even surprise testing bills have discouraged some people from getting tested. Many people don’t understand what a test can and can’t tell you about your risk — and wrongly think a test result that comes back negative guarantees they can’t spread the virus to others.
We asked some of the nation’s leading experts on testing to help answer common questions about how to get tested, what to expect and what the different tests and results really mean. Here’s their advice.