Can I be re-tested for COVID-19 after a positive result?

If you have COVID-19 or have had it recently, you might be wondering if you should get retested. Common reasons to seek a new test can include new symptoms or a request by your employer. Whatever your situation, Physicians Immediate Care can provide the quality medical care you need.

When can I get retested for COVID-19?

After your body has fought off a COVID-19 infection, dead viral matter may stay in your body for several weeks. During this time, COVID-19 tests are likely to give false-positive results. Your test may indicate that you have the illness, even though you have recovered and are not contagious. Unfortunately, this means that COVID-19 tests are of limited value in the first several weeks after you have been infected.

Our diagnostic testing is used to determine if you have been recently infected. If you do test positive for COVID-19, testing can stay positive for weeks even though you have recovered and are no longer infected, so we do not recommend re-testing to prove that you have recovered. There is a high incidence of false positives for up to 6 weeks after infection.

When should I talk to a doctor?

If you feel like you have been re-exposed or you are developing symptoms in that time period, discuss this with a provider to determine if or what type of testing is appropriate for you at that time.

If you think you might have COVID-19, please call ahead before visiting any medical facility.

What if I have new COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection but develop new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider. While some providers may offer retesting for patients with symptoms, at Physicians Immediate Care we find a symptomatic approach to be most effective.

At your in-person or virtual appointment, your doctor will ask about your symptoms, take your medical history, and perform an exam if needed. Based on your symptoms, your doctor will assess your COVID-19 risk. At this time, they will also advise you on your next steps, including instructions for treatment and isolation if necessary.

What if my employer wants me to get retested for COVID-19?

If your employer asks for proof that it is safe for you to come back to work, the same process applies. We follow the CDC’s proven return-to-work guidelines. Employers can learn more about the return to work process here.