What to Expect When You Have a COVID-19 Test

Over 30.7 million Americans have had COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has swept across the globe. In California alone, an estimated 1.1 million people are tested every day. If you’re one of the fortunate people who haven’t yet been exposed to the virus or been tested, you might be curious about what to expect. 

Here at American River Urgent Care in Orangevale, California, our team provides on-site COVID-19 testing for patients of all ages. If you or a family member need a test, you can count on compassionate and expert treatment. 

When to get a COVID-19 test

You should get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms, especially if you know you’ve been exposed to the virus. If your employer or a social contact has told you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine and get tested if you have any symptoms such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Types of tests and what to expect

Here at American River Urgent Care, we offer nasal swab tests for the active virus. After reviewing your symptoms and potential exposure, we use a long swab to collect a sample from your nose. We need to insert the swab pretty deep into your nose. It’s not the most comfortable sensation, but it shouldn’t hurt. Fortunately, the swab test is also quick. It only takes a few seconds in each nostril. 

When to expect your COVID-19 test results

Generally, you can expect your results within three to five days. However, we also offer rapid results, usually in 15-20 minutes, for an additional fee. 

What to do after your test

You should go home and continue to quarantine while you wait for your results. Drink plenty of water, rest, and eat nutritious food. You should also think about who you have been around recently, in case you need to let them know about your illness so they can also take steps to protect themselves and their families. 

What to do if your COVID-19 test is positive

If you have a positive COVID-19 test, you should stay home and away from your roommates or family. It’s critical to drink plenty of water and sleep so your body can fight off the illness. Most people have mild symptoms and can recover at home. You can take acetaminophen to manage your symptoms. 

If your symptoms become more severe — for example, if you become very short of breath, persistent pain or tightness in your chest, or have pale, grey, or blue-tinted lips, skin, or fingernails, call our office or come in for urgent care services. While you may need to go to the emergency room, we can evaluate your needs and potentially save you a long, uncomfortable, and expensive wait in an ER.

We hope that we don’t need to see you for COVID-19 testing and that you and your family are safe and healthy. Nonetheless, our team is here to provide testing and treatment for COVID-19 and any other illness or injury that requires medical attention. You can call our offices, schedule same-day appointments online, or use our walk-in clinic to receive expert, patient-focused care. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Should I Go to the ER Instead of Urgent Care?

You’ve got a sudden, severe headache that’s making you feel faint. Should you head to an urgent care clinic, or would it be wiser to go to the local ER? Here’s how to decide where to seek prompt medical attention for a pressing health concern.

The Importance of a Pre-Employment Physical

Pre-hire medical exams are a fundamental part of the new-hire process for many industries, companies, organizations, and municipalities, and for good reason: They mitigate risk while promoting health and safety. Here’s what you should know.

Protect Yourself Against Tetanus

The bacterium that causes tetanus — a serious and potentially fatal nervous system disease — is widespread in our environment. But tetanus isn't as common as it used to be, thanks to a highly effective vaccine. Are you due for your next booster?

When a Cough Becomes a Concern

It’s not always easy to know when you should be concerned about a cough. As cold and flu season gets into full swing, it’s the perfect time to demystify this common symptom so you know when it warrants expert evaluation and care.

Myths and Facts About Vaccines

Vaccination prevents infection, stops the spread of disease, and saves lives. But despite its undeniable benefits and excellent safety record, common myths and misconceptions persist. Here, we debunk a few of the most pervasive ones.