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FAQs: Walk-in Lab's Questions and Answers

Below are answers to the most common questions asked of Walk-In Lab. We hope you find these FAQs videos and text answers helpful. Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119 with any other questions. We are happy to help.

 

General

Q - I feel healthy, so why should I get tested?

Q - How old do I have to be to get tested?

Q - Are there certain states where testing can't be done?

Q - Can I order laboratory tests if I live outside of the United States?

Q - How does this process work?

Q - How does Walk-In Lab protect my privacy?

Q - What should I do if I can't find the test I'm looking for?

Q - I want to place orders for others. Why can't I change the name in my order?

Q - I'm a doctor or licensed medical provider. Can I order testing for myself or patients?

Q - Does Walk-In Lab offer lab testing on animals?

Q - Is there an expiration date for my lab order?

Q - Can you recommend any doctors who I can see for treatment or can you write me prescriptions?

Q - What does the price of the laboratory test include?

Q - Do you offer DNA testing?

Payments

Q - What payment methods does Walk-In Lab accept?

Q - Do you file claims for customers with insurance companies or Medicare or will they reimburse?

Q - Do I have to pay any additional fees at the lab?

Q - Can I cancel my order?

Q - I found a test for a lower price, will you match the price?

Results

Q - How accurate and reliable are the results?

Q - How do I get my results?

Q - Will my healthcare provider receive a copy of my results?

Q - Are my results confidential?

Q - Will I be able to understand the results?

Q - What if I receive an abnormal result?

Q - Do positive STD and HIV results get reported?

Q - Can I get my results the same day or faster than the time specified?

Q - Can I get the results of each test I order on a separate report?

Lab Testing - General

Q - Do I need to visit a doctor to get a lab order before getting tested?

Q - I already have a doctor's order. Can I still order with Walk-In Lab?

Q - Is there a location near me?

Q - Do I need an appointment?

Q - Can I do anonymous testing?

Q - What is the procedure when ordering a stool test with LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics?

Q - Why is there a doctor's name on my lab order that is not my doctor?

Q - If I want to order several lab tests but plan to use them on separate days, can you send me separate lab request forms for each lab test in my order?

Q - Can I add a test to my order after I purchased a test or panel?

Q - How long do I have to take my tests?

Q - How do I receive my lab order?

Q - Do I have to bring a printed paper copy of the lab order with me to the lab?

Q - Do I need to sign the bottom of my lab order?

Lab Testing - Preparation

Q - Should I fast before taking the test?

Q - Can I test while I'm sick?

Q - Will taking medicine affect my test?

Kits - General

Q - Do I have to pay to ship the specimen back?

Q -How do I receive my kit?

Q - I just received my test kit, what information do I need to put on the requisition?

Q - The paperwork in the kit is asking for payment information but I have already paid.

Q - My kit has expired, can I get a new kit?

Q - What do I put for the ID # on the Genova specimen vials?

Kits - In-Home Specimen Collection

Q - If ordering a hair test kit can you test dyed hair?

Q - How much hair is required for hair specimen?

Q - I ordered a urine kit, can I test while menstruating?

Q - Are there any foods I should avoid before collecting for the stool test kit?

Q - I ordered the 3-day stool test. What if I don't have a bowel movement every day?

Q - Can I collect a stool specimen from an adult diaper?

Q - I ate and/or brushed my teeth and then collected my saliva. Should I start all over?

Q - I forgot to rinse my mouth before I collected my saliva. What should I do?

Q - What happens if the saliva specimen defrosts before it makes it to the lab?

Q - How do I collect my saliva specimen?

Q - How much saliva do I need?

Q - What do I do if I'm having a difficult time collecting enough saliva?

Kits - Blood Draw Required

Q - I have ordered a specialty lab test kit that requires a blood draw. Where should I go to have my blood drawn?

Q - I ordered an ALCAT kit, it says the lab will come to me, how does that work?

Q - What is the difference between food sensitivity and food allergy?

Q - The kit I ordered says blood spot, does the blood have to be fresh?

Q - Are there any special precautions to take when collecting blood spots?

Q - What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Q - How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

Q - When should I seek medical care?

Q - What is social distancing?

Q - Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?

Q - What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Q - When can I stop in-home isolation?

Q - Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?

Q - Where can I learn more about COVID-19?

Q - What is a serology (antibody) test?

Q - Which antibodies can a serology test detect?

Q - When do IgG antibodies develop?

Q - Are there any limitations to IgG antibody tests?

Q - What can an IgG antibody test tell me?

Q - Can serology (antibody) tests help diagnose COVID-19?

Q - What is the difference between a serology (antibody) test and a molecular (PCR) test?

Q - When would I get a molecular (PCR) test vs. a serology (antibody) test?

Q - Can IgG antibody tests be used instead of molecular (PCR) tests to diagnose COVID-19?

Q - Can IgG antibody tests be used together with molecular (PCR) tests?

Q - How are serology (antibody) and molecular (PCR) tests performed?

Q - If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, should I get a serology (antibody) test?

Q - My serology (antibody) test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?

Q - If my IgG antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?

Q - Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see if I can stop isolating?

Q - Can I take a serology (antibody) test to determine when I can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., those 65 years of age or older or someone with an underlying medical condition)?

Q - I feel healthy, so why should I get tested?
A - A serious medical condition such as heart disease, prostate cancer or diabetes can exist without noticeable symptoms for up to two years. Early detection is your best defense. A simple blood test can increase your chances of reversing potential problems, and establish a baseline of your normal ranges from which future tests can be monitored.
 
Q - How old do I have to be to get tested?
A - You must be 18 years of age or older to order tests and also have them performed.
 
Q - Are there certain states where testing can't be done?
A - Due to state regulations we are unable to offer services through LabCorp in NY, NJ, RI, MD and MA and through Quest Diagnostics in NY, NJ, and RI or to its residents. No matter where you live, your lab order cannot be used at lab locations in the above-mentioned states.
 
Q - Can I order laboratory tests if I live outside of the United States?
A - Yes, however, you must provide a local address in the state that you will be tested. Prohibited states for Lab Corp include NY, NJ, RI, MD, and MA. Prohibited states for Quest Diagnostics include NY, NJ, and RI.
 
Q - How does this process work?
A - Choose the tests you would like to have performed, add them to your cart and proceed to the checkout. Register as a new Customer/Patient or log in if you are an existing customer. Complete checkout and follow the on-screen instructions to view and print your lab order. Take the lab order to the lab when you go for testing. Be sure to follow preparation instructions for the tests ordered. You will receive an email notifying you to login when your results are available.
 
Q - How does Walk-In Lab protect my privacy?
A - Walk-In Lab has a commitment to privacy for its customers. All credit card transactions are encrypted and insured. We will not sell or provide secure proprietary information input by customers to any outside parties. All customer information is kept on private, HIPAA-compliant servers
 
Q - What should I do if I can't find the test I'm looking for?
A - We have access to thousands of tests, some of which are not on our website. If there is a test you are interested in but can't find on the website, call us at 1-800-539-6119 and we will be happy to discuss the availability of the test.
 
Q - I want to place orders for others. Why can't I change the name in my order?
A - In order to follow mandated compliance laws and regulations, each individual has to create a separate account. Our system will not allow changes to the name and date of birth once an account has been created. Each account is identified by the email address. Federal HIPAA laws require that private medical information not be shared without your written consent. This includes immediate family members and spouses.
 
Q - I'm a doctor or licensed medical provider. Can I order testing for myself or patients?
A - Yes, we do have a healthcare provider program that is available. Please view the specifics of the program under the Partners tab on our website. This option will allow you to order testing and manage results for both yourself and your clients/patients.
 
Q - Does Walk-In Lab offer lab testing on animals?
A - Unfortunately we do not. The labs that we are contacted with only accept human specimens.
 
Q - Is there an expiration date for my lab order?
A - Lab orders are valid for six (6) months from the date of purchase. If you do not use your lab order within this time period it expires. Lab orders will be renewed at no charge for another six months if requested within one year of purchase.
 
Q - Can you recommend any doctors who I can see for treatment or can you write me prescriptions?
A - Walk-In Lab does not recommend physicians or write prescriptions. If you do not have a personal physician, Click here for a physician directory.
 
Q - What does the price of the laboratory test include?
A - When using Walk-In Lab the price is all inclusive so there will not be separate laboratory fees, lab order fees or processing fees. The price you pay at the checkout includes the lab test, lab order, laboratory fees and the review of your results by our ordering physicians. In addition, you will be notified immediately by one of our Customer Service Representatives if your results are returned as critical or with an alert.
 
Q - Do you offer DNA testing?
A - No, we do not offer DNA testing at this time.
 
Q - What payment methods does Walk-In Lab accept?
A - Payments accepted include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Health Savings Cards, PayPal, ACH and Apple Pay.
 
Q - Do you file claims for customers with insurance companies or Medicare or will they reimburse?
A - Walk-In Lab does not file insurance claims. Upon request, after results are received, we will provide a receipt with all necessary information to file with your insurance company. Walk-In Lab does not guarantee reimbursement.
 
Q - Do I have to pay any additional fees at the lab?
A - All fees are included in the cost of the tests when you place your order. No further payment is required at the lab.
 
Q - Can I cancel my order?
A - Refunds are only permitted prior to submission of specimens for testing. Within thirty (30) days of purchase, a refund will be issued less a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued after thirty (30) days from purchase date. Within ninety (90) days of purchase date, a full website credit will be issued upon request and the credit will expire one (1) year from the purchase date. Please Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119 to cancel your order.
 
Q - I found a test for a lower price, will you match the price?
A - Walk-In Lab will match any price you find online on a competitor's website. Price matches will only be issued for respective labs. Total price includes any applicable processing or handling fees. If you locate a lower price online, prior to placing your order, Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119. Price adjustments will not be made once an order has been placed.
 
Q - How accurate and reliable are the results?
A - We use the leading national laboratories, which are fully accredited, licensed medical reference labs. These are the same labs your healthcare provider uses.
 
Q - How do I get my results?
A - Your results will be uploaded to your secure online account, usually within 24-48 hours of your specimen collection. Some tests may take longer. Click on each test name for more details and result turnaround time.
 
Q - Will my healthcare provider receive a copy of my results?
A - HIPAA regulations prohibit releasing results without your written consent. This includes immediate family members and spouses. However, you can fax your results directly from your Confidential Lab Record when logged into your account. This service is provided at no charge to you.
 
Q - Are my results confidential?
A - Absolutely, we respect your privacy and maintain confidentiality. You are the only one who receives the results unless you provide a written consent requesting the release to a third party.
 
Q - Will I be able to understand the results?
A - Yes, all test results include the normal reference ranges, with abnormalities indicated. We recommend you seek a healthcare provider to discuss results outside normal ranges. If you seek additional information regarding your test results, you may choose to visit Lab Tests Online, a public resource for clinical lab testing and an excellent resource.
 
Q - What if I receive an abnormal result?
A - Abnormalities should be considered an early warning, but do not necessarily mean you have an illness or disease. We strongly recommend you discuss the results with your healthcare provider for evaluation, further testing and diagnosis.
 
Q - Do positive STD and HIV results get reported?
A - Yes, positive results for HIV and STDs are reported to the state department via name-based reporting. The name of the testee and the results will be reported but are only accessible by public health personnel to track HIV rates in the state. The state department removes all personal information and reports only the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Personal information is not shared with insurance companies or anyone else.
 
Q - Can I get my results the same day or faster than the time specified?
A - Unfortunately Walk-In Lab does not offer STAT testing.
 
Q - Can I get the results of each test I order on a separate report?
A - We are unable to separate results for tests that are ordered together. If you require results to be separated place separate orders for the tests you need reported together.
 
Q - Do I need to visit a doctor to get a lab order before getting tested?
A - No, Walk-In Lab provides the lab order for you.
 
Q - I already have a doctor's order. Can I still order with Walk-In Lab?
A - Yes, you can use your order as a guide to select tests. If you need help finding any tests, Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119. To avoid double billing do not bring the order from your doctor only bring the lab order issued by us to the lab.
 
Q - Is there a location near me?
A - Walk-In Lab is proud to contract with LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics with a combined 3,700 lab locations nationwide. Visit our Lab Locator to find a location near you. LabCorp: Online lab testing is prohibited in NY, NJ, RI, MD, and MA. Quest: Online lab testing is prohibited in NY, NJ, and RI. If ordering a home test kit that requires a blood draw you will need to locate a lab to perform the draw. Visit Home Test Kits that Require a Blood Draw to find a location near you.
 
Q - Do I need an appointment?
A - Appointments are optional but labs are busiest in the mornings when most people are fasting. Appointments are recommended if you want to get in and out of the lab faster. To make an appointment follow the on-screen instructions during checkout.
 
Q - Should I fast before taking the test?
A - Click on the test name for more details and specific fasting requirements.
 
Q - Can I do anonymous testing?
A - Yes, an order can be placed anonymously. The First Name field must start with an alpha or numeric character and the Last Name must be an alpha character. Your correct date of birth and gender are required.
 
Q - What is the procedure when ordering a stool test with LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics?
A - When a stool test is ordered please take the lab order to the lab and you will be provided with the collection material and specific instructions. Once you collect the specimen return it to the same lab in the provided container.
 
Q - Why is there a doctor's name on my lab order that is not my doctor?
A - The doctor that is listed on your lab order is a part of Walk-In Lab's physician's network. We are unable to list your physician's name on the lab order.
 
Q - If I want to order several lab tests but plan to use them on separate days, can you send me separate lab request forms for each lab test in my order?
A - If you would like to have tests performed on different days it is best to order the tests separately. If you have already completed your order and would like the tests performed at different times Contact Us prior to visiting the lab and we can separate the order for you. We cannot separate tests that are part of a panel.
 
Q - Can I add a test to my order after I purchased a test or panel?
A - Yes, we can combine lab orders. If after placing your order you decide an additional test is needed simply place another order and Contact Us prior to visiting the lab so that we can combine the orders for you.
 
Q - How long do I have to take my tests?
A - Lab orders are valid for six (6) months from the date of purchase. If you do not use your lab order within this time period it expires. Lab orders will be renewed at no charge for another six months if requested within one year of purchase.
 
Q - Can I test while I'm sick?
A - We recommend that you try to test on a "typical day", so if possible you should wait until you are not ill. Viruses such as colds and flues as well as bacterial infections are stressful to the body and therefore may affect the results.
 
Q - Will taking medicine affect my test?
A - It depends on the type of test you're having performed and what medication you take. Please check with your pharmacist or doctor. You should never stop taking prescribed medication without first checking with your doctor.
 
Q - How do I receive my lab order?
A - Your lab order is immediately available when your order is placed. Once you have finished the checkout process, follow the on-screen instructions to view and print your lab order. Instructions are also included in the order email sent or in your Confidential Lab Record when you log in to your account.
 
Q - Do I have to bring a printed paper copy of the lab order with me to the lab?
A - Yes, print out a copy of your lab order and bring it to the lab when you go for testing. If you don't have access to a printer Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119 and we will be happy to fax the lab order to the lab location for you.
 
Q - Do I need to sign the bottom of my lab order?
A - No, you do not need to sign your order.
 
Q - I have ordered a specialty lab test kit that requires a blood draw. Where should I go to have my blood drawn?
A - There are a couple options for the blood collection for at home test kits. You can contact Any Lab Test Now to set up a blood draw or you can contact your local hospital, clinic or phlebotomy service. If you are unfamiliar with hospitals in your area, you can visit US Hospital Finder. Draw fees may apply.
 
Q - Do I have to pay to ship the specimen back?
A -
No, a prepaid shipping envelope is included in your kit. Read instructions carefully to make sure there are no special shipping requirements.
 
Q - How do I receive my kit?
A -
Your kit will be mailed directly to the address listed on your account. If you would like your kit shipped to a different location please Contact Us or call 1-800-539-6119.
 
Q - If ordering a hair test kit can you test dyed hair?
A -
The use of permed, dyed, or bleached hair is not recommended. Chemically treated hair is susceptible to contamination and therefore should not be used.
 
Q - How much hair is required for hair specimen?
A -
In total 0.25 grams of hair is needed to complete the analysis. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - I just received my test kit, what information do I need to put on the requisition?
A -
All sections on the requisition should be completed excluding the payment and insurance information.
 
Q - I ordered a urine kit, can I test while menstruating?
A -
No, you should test on a typical, healthy day when you are not on your period.
 
Q - Are there any foods I should avoid before collecting for the stool test kit?
A -
No, you should continue with your normal diet prior to testing.
 
Q - I ordered the 3-day stool test. What if I don't have a bowel movement every day?
A -
The samples do not have to be consecutive days; you can skip days in between sample collections.
 
Q - Can I collect a stool specimen from an adult diaper?
A -
No, the specimen should be collected as stated in the instructions included in your kit. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - I ordered an ALCAT kit, it says the lab will come to me, how does that work?
A -
After you have completed your order you will be contacted by a mobile lab to set an appointment for the blood draw that is convenient for you.
 
Q - What is the difference between food sensitivity and food allergy?
A -
Food sensitivity is often limited to digestive problems whereas a food allergy can cause immune system reactions that can affect numerous organs in the body. In some cases, a food allergy can be severe and life-threatening.
 
Q - The kit I ordered says blood spot, does the blood have to be fresh?
A -
Yes, the specimen should be collected as stated in the instructions included in your kit. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - Are there any special precautions to take when collecting blood spots?
A -
Yes, hormones administered topically, this includes anti-aging creams, can be absorbed into your fingers when being applied with your hands and can cause false high results. When applying topical hormones be sure to rub them in without using your fingers for at least 2 days prior to collection. Refrain from using anti-aging creams that may contain hormone traces. It is important to continue to use the hormones as usual during this time; just avoid hand exposure. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - The paperwork in the kit is asking for payment information but I have already paid.
A -
It is not necessary to complete the payment section. When you complete your payment through Walk-In Lab the testing is paid in full. All sections on the requisition should be completed excluding the payment and insurance information.
 
Q - My kit has expired, can I get a new kit?
A -
Yes, if your kit expires within one year of your purchase Contact Us and we will contact the manufacturer to send you a new kit. Your test kit order expires after one year of purchase and therefore new kits will not be replaced after that time.
 
Q - My kit requires a blood draw, do I have to do that at home?
A -
No, you will not perform the blood draw yourself in your home. There are a couple options for the blood collection for at home test kits. You can contact Any Lab Test Now to set up a blood draw or you can contact your local hospital, clinic or phlebotomy service. If you are unfamiliar with hospitals in your area, you can visit US Hospital Finder. Draw fees may apply.
 
Q - I ate and/or brushed my teeth and then collected my saliva. Should I start all over?
A -
Yes, you will need to start again the next morning. Be sure to rinse the tube with warm water only and allow to air dry. Collect your sample within 30 minutes of waking prior to eating, drinking, flossing or brushing your teeth. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - I forgot to rinse my mouth before I collected my saliva. What should I do?
A -
Although rinsing your mouth will remove food, mucus or film that you may have in your mouth from the saliva specimen, you can still submit the sample. Otherwise, you can discard the specimen, rinse the tube with warm water only, allow to air dry and begin collection again the next morning. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - What happens if the saliva specimen defrosts before it makes it to the lab?
A -
The sample will defrost during shipment, and that is ok, as it is stable for several days at room temperature.
 
Q - How do I collect my saliva specimen?
A -
You should collect your sample within 30 minutes of waking prior to eating, drinking, flossing or brushing your teeth. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - How much saliva do I need?
A -
To ensure accurate results, all tubes should be at least ½ full (preferably ¾ full) excluding bubbles. Read all instructions carefully before beginning the test.
 
Q - What do I do if I'm having a difficult time collecting enough saliva?
A -
Drink extra water the day/night before the collection to encourage the production of more saliva. If your mouth is dry, try pressing the tip of your tongue against your teeth or the roof of your mouth. Smelling sour foods such as a lemon can also produce saliva flow. Chewing gum is not advised due to it may contaminate the sample. Allow saliva to pool in your mouth before collecting. If you are still unable to collect enough saliva (½ tube) in one day, place the cap on the tube and put in the refrigerator or freezer. The same time the next day you can add more saliva to the tube. You may continue collecting in this way for up to 3 days.
 
Q - What do I put for the ID # on the Genova specimen vials?
A -
Leave it blank, when the laboratory receives the specimen an ID# will be assigned.
 
Q - What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A - Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is a serious respiratory illness. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has spread globally, becoming a worldwide pandemic. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.
Q - How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
A - There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet) between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.
  • Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
  • Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks).
  • Wash your hands often? with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Q - When should I seek medical care?
A - If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Most mild cases of COVID-19 resolve within 2 weeks without treatment. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience any of the following:
  • Severe trouble breathing (such as being unable to talk without gasping for air)
  • Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
  • Feeling confused
  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Severe and continuous dizziness or lightheadedness
If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.
  • Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.
Q - What is social distancing?
A - Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. It is one of the best ways to avoid being exposed and to help slow the spread of the virus, especially if you are in an area where COVID-19 is widespread. It is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Social or physical distancing includes:
  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Not gathering in groups
  • Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings
Q - Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?
A - If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is very important to stay home and limit your interaction with others in your household and in public.
  • If you have not been tested but may have been exposed to COVID-19, self-monitoring and self-quarantine is recommended to see if you get sick.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolation is recommended so that you do not pass the virus to others.
For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here. If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.
Q - What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?
A - Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit your interaction with others to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Isolation is separating individuals with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious.
  • Quarantine is separating individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t been tested. They are separated for a brief period of time (14 days after possible exposure) to see if they develop symptoms.
For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here. If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.
Q - When can I stop in-home isolation?
A - The decision to discontinue in-home isolation for patients with COVID-19 should be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your healthcare provider. Follow-up with your healthcare provider to discuss when to stop in-home isolation. See the ?CDC website? for more information.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.
Q - Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?
A - At this time, it is not known whether someone who has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can become infected again after recovering.
Q - Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
A - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Q - What is a serology (antibody) test? A serology test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, a serology test will show whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies usually reach detectable levels in the blood about 10 to 18 days after symptoms start.
Q - Which antibodies can a serology test detect?
A - Currently, a serology test can measure two antibodies: IgM and IgG. ? Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is produced as the body’s first response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgM antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections. ? Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody. It’s made several days to weeks after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure. However, there is not enough 4 evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Q - When do IgG antibodies develop?
A - Based on the most current research, IgG antibodies develop around 10 to 18 days after infection from SARS-CoV-2.
Q - Are there any limitations to IgG antibody tests?
A - It usually takes around 10 to 18 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 for your body to produce enough antibodies for detection in the blood. Getting an IgG antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a negative result that is false (false negative). Additionally, IgG antibody tests may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2. This can cause a positive result that is false (false positive). There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Q - What can an IgG antibody test tell me? An IgG antibody test can tell whether you’ve been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and whether or not your immune system has responded by making IgG antibodies.
Q - Can serology (antibody) tests help diagnose COVID-19?
A - Serology (antibody) tests cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19. IgG antibody tests can help us understand how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 and how many people have been infected. In the future, IgG antibody tests may be able to tell us whether an individual has immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
Q - What is the difference between a serology (antibody) test and a molecular (PCR) test?
A - Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. Serology tests do not show whether a person is currently infected.? Molecular tests, also called PCR (?polymerase chain reaction), show if you’re currently infected and can spread SARS-CoV-2 to others.
Q - When would I get a molecular (PCR) test vs. a serology (antibody) test?
A - If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19 or have been recently exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you would get a molecular (PCR) test to see if you have an active infection. If you want to check to see if you’ve been previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, then you would get a serology (antibody) test.
Q - Can IgG antibody tests be used instead of molecular (PCR) tests to diagnose COVID-19?
A - IgG antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Therefore it should not be used in place of a molecular (PCR) test to diagnose a current infection.
Q - Can IgG antibody tests be used together with molecular (PCR) tests?
A - Yes. IgG antibody tests can complement molecular (PCR) tests by providing information about exposure and how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Q - How are serology (antibody) and molecular (PCR) tests performed?
A - Serology tests are collected through a blood sample (such as from a finger prick or needle draw). Molecular (PCR) tests are collected through the nose with a swab. The swab takes nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat. This can also be done by a saliva test.
Q - If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, should I get a serology (antibody) test? No. If you’re currently having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a molecular PCR test to see if you’re currently infected. Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. A serology test cannot tell you whether you have a current infection.
Q - My serology (antibody) test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do? If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor or local health department to get tested for active infection. The serology (antibody) test can only tell you if you’ve been exposed and have developed an immune response, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection. For that, you’ll need a molecular (PCR) test.
Q - If my IgG antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?
A - At this time, there is not enough evidence to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Q - Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see if I can stop isolating?
A - No. There is no test that can tell you when to stop isolating. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.
Q - Can I take a serology (antibody) test to determine when I can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., those 65 years of age or older or someone with an underlying medical condition)?
A - No. There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

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