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?
The Minnesota Department of Health advises that people who do not have symptoms generally should not be tested for COVID-19. This screening tool can help people decide whether they should be tested for COVID-19.
If you have symptoms of COVID, contact your provider now to request testing.
We are working with Mayo to expand testing access for Minnesotans statewide that will be implemented in two phases over the next several weeks:
- Setting up a COVID-19 testing Command Center together with the state’s major health care systems to design a network of testing sites across Minnesota.
- Provide testing access to all Minnesotans with COVID-19 symptoms with results available in 24 hours.