Understanding Your COVID-19 Test Results

COVID-19 Test Results Explained

Negative COVID-19 Viral Swab - FAQs

What does it mean if my lab result is negative?

Your negative COVID-19 viral swab test means that you were not infectious with COVID-19 at the time of testing.

My COVID-19 swab was negative. What should I do to protect myself and others from future infection?

As you return to work and other activities, the CDC recommends that you continue to wear a face mask, wash your hands often, and practice social distancing.

Whose result is this? Mine or my family members?

We have sent this text message to the phone number listed in the patient’s medical record. If multiple patients have the same phone number listed, individual results can be obtained by creating personal Quest Laboratory accounts (using a different email address for each person tested). Click on this link to sign up each family member: My COVID-19 Results.

If you cannot access your lab results, please:

Please state that we may reply to your email with unencrypted test results (this item is optional and only if you are comfortable).

I am still experiencing symptoms. What should I do?

We are happy to reevaluate you at TAUC if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Can I go back to work?

For non-COVID-19 viral symptoms, people traditionally return to work or school once fever-free for 24 hours. Please check with your employer for workplace-specific guidelines.

Someone I live with tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

If a household member tests positive, everyone else in the household should quarantine for 14 days after their last date of close contact with the person who tested positive. This quarantine is recommended by the CDC even if you have tested negative. It is best to limit exposure to other members of the household as much as possible. Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask if sharing the same common area is unavoidable.

Yes, you may access and print your results from the Quest Laboratories portal, or visit any Total Access location to get a printed copy.

Can I get a work note?

Yes, please visit any Total Access location to pick up a copy or email covid@tauc.com and include the following 3 items:

  1. Patient’s full name

  2. Date of birth

  3. For faster results, please state that we may reply to your email with your unencrypted work note. This is optional and only if you are comfortable.

Can I have my results faxed to my doctor?

Absolutely, please call one of our locations with your physician office’s information, and we will be happy to assist you.

Positive COVID-19 Virus Test - FAQs

What does a positive COVID-19 test mean?

A positive test result means that you currently have an active COVID-19 infection.

How accurate is this test?

Tests are measured commonly by the following two accuracy metrics: sensitivity and specificity. This very accurate test has a sensitivity and specificity that are both greater than 99%.

Whose result is this? Mine or my family members?

We have sent this text message to the phone number listed in the patient’s medical record. If multiple patients have the same phone number listed, individual results can be obtained by creating personal Quest Laboratory accounts (using a different email address for each person tested). Click on this link to sign up each family member: My COVID-19 Results.

If you cannot access your lab results, please:

Please state that we may reply to your email with unencrypted test results (this item is optional and only if you are comfortable).

When can I return to work or school?

All three of the following CDC clearance criteria must be met:

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you did not have any symptoms, it must be 10 days from the date you were tested.

  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

  • Your other symptoms have improved (e.g. your cough is much better).

What should I tell people with whom I have been in contact?

The CDC recommends notifying anyone who has been exposed to you within 48 hours prior to your symptoms starting (or before testing positive, if you are symptom free). Anyone who was in close contact with you during your 10-day isolation period (see the CDC guidelines in the previous section) should either be tested or self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with you during your isolation period.

What if I don’t have any symptoms?

Many people (especially younger patients) who test positive for COVID-19 will not experience any symptoms. Please continue to isolate for 10 days from the date you were tested.

Should I be retested?

At this time, the CDC recommends against retesting COVID-19 positive patients within 3 months of their positive test. Many patients have prolonged shedding of inactive virus. Patients who have met the clearance criteria have not been shown to be infectious even as they continue to test positive with residual, inactive virus.

Someone I live with tested negative, should we social distance/wear masks?

If a household member tests positive, everyone else in the household should isolate per the CDC guidelines, regardless if they tested negative. If a household member who tested negative develops symptoms during the quarantine it is recommended that (s)he restarts the isolation period from the first day of symptoms. It is best to limit exposure to other members of the household as much as possible. Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask if sharing the same common area is unavoidable.

Can I get a copy of my lab results?

Yes, you may access and print your results from the Quest Laboratories portal, or visit any Total Access location to get a printed copy.

Can I get a work note?

Yes, please visit any Total Access location to pick up a copy or email covid@tauc.com and include the following 3 items:

  1. Patient’s full name

  2. Date of birth

  3. For faster results, please state that we may reply to your email with your unencrypted work note. This is optional and only if you are comfortable.

Can I have my results faxed to my doctor?

Absolutely, please call one of our locations with your physician office’s information, and we will be happy to assist you.

Negative COVID-19 Antibody Test - FAQs

What does a negative antibody test mean?

A negative result means that the test could not detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies that your body produces to protect against future infections. Be aware that it can take several days for antibodies to form, and there is some evidence that antibody levels wane over time after infection or immunization.

How accurate is this test?

Tests are measured commonly by the following two accuracy metrics: sensitivity and specificity. This very accurate test has a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99.63%, meaning that your negative result is highly accurate.

I got both the viral swab test and the antibody blood draw. Will my swab test be negative as well?

Not necessarily, as mentioned above, it can take several days for antibodies to form after an active infection begins.

Whose result is this? Mine or my family member’s?

We have sent this text message to the phone number listed in the patient’s medical record. If multiple patients have the same phone number listed, individual results can be obtained by creating personal Quest Laboratory accounts (using a different email address for each person tested). Click on this link to sign up each family member: My COVID-19 Results.

If you cannot access your lab results, please:

Please state that we may reply to your email with unencrypted test results (this item is optional and only if you are comfortable).

Can I get a copy of my lab results?

Yes, you may access and print your results from the Quest Laboratories portal, or visit any Total Access location to get a printed copy.

Can I have my results faxed to my doctor?

Absolutely, please call one of our locations with your physician office’s information, and we will be happy to assist you.

Positive COVID-19 Antibody Test - FAQs

What does a positive antibody test mean?

A positive result means that your body has COVID-19 antibodies that your immune system produces to protect against future COVID-19 infections. Depending on the type of antibody test performed, the presence of these antibodies indicates that you were either previously infected with COVID-19 or developed antibodies in response to immunization.

How accurate is this test?

Tests are measured commonly by the following two accuracy metrics: sensitivity and specificity. This very accurate test has a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99.63%.

I got both the viral swab test and the antibody blood draw. Will my swab test be positive as well?

Not necessarily. The viral swab test measures for active infection, while the antibody blood draw determines if a person has had COVID-19 in the past. In most cases, those who test positive for antibodies do not have an active infection because antibody production occurs several days after the infection begins, and antibodies remain present long after the infection has resolved.

Whose result is this? Mine or my family member’s?

We have sent this text message to the phone number listed in the patient’s medical record. If multiple patients have the same phone number listed, individual results can be obtained by creating personal Quest Laboratory accounts (using a different email address for each person tested). Click on this link to sign up each family member: My COVID-19 Results.

If you cannot access your lab results, please:

Please state that we may reply to your email with unencrypted test results (this item is optional and only if you are comfortable).

Can I get a copy of my lab results?

Yes, you may access and print your results from the Quest Laboratories portal, or visit any Total Access location to get a printed copy.

Can I have my results faxed to my doctor?

Absolutely, please call one of our locations with your physician office’s information, and we will be happy to assist you.