Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. CDC has updated guidance for fully vaccinated people based on new evidence on the Delta variant.
Viral tests are used to look for current infection
A viral test checks specimens from your nose or your mouth to find out if you are currently infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Viral tests can be performed in a laboratory, at a testing site, or at home or anywhere else. Two types of viral tests are used: nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) and antigen tests.
Who should get tested
The following people should get tested for COVID-19:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- People who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who are prioritized for expanded community screening for COVID-19.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, tribal, localexternal icon or territorial health department.
Who does not need to be tested
The following people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to get tested if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms:
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, as long as they do not develop new symptoms, do not need to get tested.