There are two main categories of COVID-19 tests: viral and antibody testing. The viral test, often called a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, detects the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19, and determines if you have an active infection. The antibody test detects the proteins that fight off infection and may detect if you have had a previous COVID-19 infection. These tests should not be used to detect a current infection as antibodies may only appear about 1-3 weeks after infection.

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