Testing is vital for us to understand the spread of COVID-19 in our area. Our community has worked hard to expand access, and we are confident in our ability to test people who need tests.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider via virtual care or phone.
Although the Health Department is not a testing site, anyone who has issues accessing testing can call our coronavirus call center at (417) 874-1211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of tests
There are two different types of COVID-19 tests: diagnostic tests and antibody tests.
A diagnostic test answers the question "Do I have COVID-19?"
The official name is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR is a genetic test for the presence of viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) from a nasopharyngeal (nose) or oropharyngeal (throat) swab. If a person tests positive, this means they are currently infected with COVID-19.
If a person in self-quarantine tests negative for COVID-19 or feels healthy, they should remain in quarantine since symptoms may appear up to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
An antibody test answers the question "Did I have COVID-19 (or another coronavirus) in the past?"
Antibody testing for COVID-19 (also known as serology testing) is a blood test. It looks for antibodies that form as part of the body’s immune response to the virus. If a person has a positive antibody test, it means they have been exposed at some point in the past to SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. It could also be positive if a person has been exposed to a different type of coronavirus.
Many different companies offer antibody tests, the majority of which have not been FDA-approved. Current available tests have been authorized under Emergency Use Authorization and the tests vary widely in their performance.
For more information on serology testing, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/serology-testing.html
To access testing:
Testing is also available through some CVS Minute Clinic locations. Click here to complete an online screening and schedule an appointment.
Waiting for your test results?
It can take a few days to receive your results. If you have questions regarding your test results, please contact your healthcare provider.