To increase the chance that the negative result for COVID-19 is accurate, you should:
- Test again in 48 hours if you have symptoms on the first day of testing.
- Test 2 more times at least 48 hours apart if you do not have symptoms on the first day of testing.
A negative test result indicates that antigens from the virus that causes COVID-19 were not detected in your sample. However, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, and your first test is negative, you should test again in 48 hours since antigen tests are not as sensitive as molecular tests. If you do not have symptoms and received a negative result, you should test at least two more times with 48 hours in between tests for a total of three tests. If you have a negative result, it does not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection; you may still be infected and you may still infect others. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.