To learn if you are currently infected with COVID-19, a viral test is used.
If you test negative, you were probably not infected at the time your sample was collected. It is important to remember that a negative test does not mean you will not get sick. It means you did not have COVID-19 when your sample was collected, or you may have tested negative if the sample was collected early in your infection, and you may test positive later during your illness. You may also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected at that time.