Why You Should Sill Be Testing For COVID-19

Why you should still be testing for COVID-19 

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has started to treat the virus as endemic, with many Americans evaluating their risk level in different settings rather than relying on the government to set guidelines regarding testing and mask-wearing. Earlier this year, the federal government began mailing COVID-19 testing kits, and after a difficult winter of not being able to find tests in-store or online, supplies are back to their baseline throughout the country. 

Even with the Omicron variant surge behind us, COVID is far from gone. Concerns about the next variant will loom for months, if not years, to come. Regardless of vaccination status or previous infections, you should continue to purchase COVID-19 testing kits for your home. Balancing your personal health and that of those around you will remain imperative to the continued decrease in cases. Below, we’ve outlined when you should continue to test for COVID-19 and why rapid antigen tests are essential to keep on hand to make this testing possible. 

Test When You’re Symptomatic 

If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, and stuffy nose, you should test yourself - regardless of vaccination status. While lingering winter colds and springtime allergies are likely culprits for symptoms, you risk exposing others to COVID-19 if you do not test and wear a mask until symptoms subside. Even if the vaccination rates in your community are high, many vaccinated and boosted individuals have experienced breakthrough COVID infections, and many more remain at increased risk for infections. Testing when you have typical symptoms is imperative for public health. 

Test Around High-Risk Individuals 

Many Americans have resumed normal activities, including visiting stores, restaurants, and sporting or concert venues. In many states, mask mandates have been lifted, and individuals are taking personal precautions against COVID-19 rather than government-mandated precautions. However, many immunocompromised individuals are still working hard to avoid infection with COVID-19. Whether unable to be vaccinated due to health concerns or at risk for severe complications related to the virus, millions of Americans are still masking up and avoiding high traffic areas to lessen their chances of getting infected. 

If you have resumed normal activities or have stopped wearing a mask unless required, you should continue to test for COVID-19 before visiting with anyone high-risk, even if you are asymptomatic. In fact current guidelines recommend testing twice, 24 hours apart, using a rapid test ahead of any visits with anyone with enhanced vulnerabilities. 

Test When You’re Traveling 

Whether you are going to Paris, France, or Paris, Texas, you should test yourself and all members of your party for COVID-19 before you leave for the airport. If you are traveling internationally, check the requirements at your destination country (and any others you may be traveling through on your journey) to comply with their local testing and mask guidelines. Flying into the United States currently requires a negative COVID-19 test, or proof of recovery from a recent COVID infection, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status. Traveling domestically, the CDC still recommends that those not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters test before leaving on any trips. 

Test After Exposure 

If you have known exposure to COVID-19, you should wait five days before testing at home with a rapid antigen test. During the waiting period, necessary precautions vary based on vaccination status. If you are unvaccinated or have not received a booster vaccine and have not had COVID in the previous three months, quarantine at home and wear a mask around the people you live with until the five-day waiting period is over. If vaccinated and boosted, you can leave your house taking necessary precautions (including wearing a mask) when in public. 

Test After Recovering From COVID-19 

Following infection with COVID-19, you should test after your symptoms have completely subsided before resuming normal activities. PCR tests can remain positive for days, if not weeks, following infection with the virus. A negative rapid antigen test means you are less likely to be infectious; however, you should maintain precautions for up to two weeks following symptoms.  

Keeping rapid antigen tests in your medicine cabinet will soon be as normal as a bottle of Aspirin or a package of Band-Aids. While the government-provided tests are imperative for short-term testing needs, consider purchasing rapid antigen tests from a reputable distributor, like Code 1 Supply, to ensure you have enough of a supply on-hand to get through an infection. For more information or to learn more about Code 1 Supply’s rapid antigen tests, please visit Code1Supply.com.
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