A PCR test tells you if you have COVID-19 right now and could spread it to other people. A PCR test looks for the genetic material of the virus. It is a very accurate test. PCR tests are usually done by:
- Nasal or nasopharyngeal swab: A healthcare worker puts a swab into your nose to collect a sample either just inside your nose or reaching further down your throat.
- Saliva: The saliva test is easier to perform, safer for healthcare workers, and more comfortable for the patient. You spit into a cup or tube and your saliva is then tested. The saliva test is as accurate as the swab test.