There are two types of tests for COVID-19, and it is important to understand the difference. The first type, a diagnostic test, is used to find out if you are actively infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This test typically is done as a nasal swab. The second type of test is a serologic test to determine if you had a recent infection of SARS-CoV-2 and now have antibodies against the virus. This test is done through a blood sample.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explains the need for two different tests and how they will help move recovery from the pandemic forward.
To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used.