Learn more about the actual COVID-19 test

Have you wondered what the COVID-19 test is like or wondered if the videos are real?  If you’ve seen the test (because there are plenty of social media videos), then it is described as if someone is poking your brain: about ten seconds of mild discomfort or extreme anguish, depending on whom you ask.

The test, which requires a sample to be taken from the back of the throat, is done with a nasopharyngeal swab, which basically looks like a giant Q-tip. The swab is inserted into a patient’s nose, twisted around, and yanked out. According to one doctor, it takes ten seconds for a calm patient to complete the test. Some patients have to get multiple swabs.

Tests results can vary in availablity from 24 hours to up to 12 days depending on the lab it is sent to. Advice from doctors included rest, hydration and isolation. Your testing location will call with the results when they become available.  

Health officials all say that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mildly, just treat it as if you have the virus. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home according to the CDC.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

Trouble breathing

Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

New confusion or inability to arouse

Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.