Testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 involves taking a mucus sample from your upper respiratory tract. This test is used to diagnose COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus test is not used to test your immunity to COVID-19. To test if you have antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, you need a COVID-19 antibody test.
Testing is usually done in the following way. For a nasopharyngeal test, you will be asked to cough before the test begins and then tilt your head back slightly.
A sterile, cotton-tipped swab is gently passed through a nostril and into the nasopharynx.
This is the uppermost part of the throat, behind the nose.
The swab is left in place for several seconds, rotated, and removed. This same procedure may be done in your throat.
Antigen tests detect specific proteins on the virus that causes COVID-19. Antigen tests are rapid diagnostic tests, which means the samples are tested on-site, and results are available in several minutes.