The University of Minnesota has been hard at work developing sensitive tests to see if people are infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Our scientists have developed these two tests:
Test to diagnose people infected with the virus:
This molecular test, also called a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, is used to determine if you have the virus that causes COVID-19. If a test is negative, that means there’s no sign of current infection.
Test to see if people who were infected have developed antibodies to the virus:
This antibody test, also called a serologic test, is used to determine if you had the virus and now have developed an immune response to the virus. If a test is positive, it is a sign of a past infection.
If both tests are used together, we can determine how many Minnesotans have been exposed to COVID-19.
When will tests be available to me?
In general, tests are available to those with symptoms of COVID-19, or those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Contact your provider to request screening. This screening tool is helpful.
There also have been free testing locations offered when there are activities or events that suggest a need for additional tests. Watch for announcements on local news.