Know Your COVID Testing Options
If you have symptoms or had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you should be tested, regardless of your vaccination status.
Viral tests for COVID tell you if you have an infection at the time of the test and include PCR tests and antigen tests. Viral tests use samples that come from your nose or mouth and there are two types of viral tests: rapid tests and laboratory tests.
- Sample can be either a nasal swab or saliva
- Results usually in 1-3 days
- Results are reliable for people with and without symptoms
- No follow-up test required
- Common example: PCR Test (such as self-administered Test Iowa test kits)
- Sample is usually a nasal swab
- Results usually in 15-30 minutes
- Results may be less reliable for people without symptoms
- Follow-up test may be required
- Common example: Antigen Tests
Self-tests (also called home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are rapid tests that may be used if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19.
- A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection and should stay home or isolate and inform close contacts.
- A negative self-test result means you may not have COVID-19, but it does not rule out infection. If you have a negative test but have symptoms, you should repeat the test within 2-3 days (with at least 24 hours between tests) to increase the confidence that you are not infected.
For a complete list of local COVID-19 testing options, visit www.dubuquecounty.org/covidtesting
PLEASE NOTE: The Dubuque VNA on Iowa Street does NOT offer in-person testing services but it is a pick-up location for Test Iowa test kits. People are confusing the VNA location with the testing services offered at 698 Central Ave., across the street from the VNA.
Boosters Approved for 12-15 Year Olds
Following the FDA’s approval earlier this week, the CDC has endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation to expand eligibility of booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old.
The CDC now recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.
Data show that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other variants. ACIP reviewed the available safety data following the administration of over 25 million vaccine doses in adolescents; COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 12-17.
For a complete list of vaccine providers in Dubuque County, visit www.dubuquecountyorg/sleevesup.