What is the difference between the COVID-19 PCR Test and Antibody Test?

The COVID-19 PCR test works by detecting whether the virus is or is not present in the body. The PCR test is done using a nasal swab taken from fairly deep into the nose or back of the throat. This kind of testing can highlight if someone currently has the infection and can pass it onto more people.

The antibody looks for bodily signs that someone has previously been infected with the virus. This antibody blood test is effective in establishing if someone has recovered from COVID-19. Be aware that the antibody is not a protection against the virus, and you should still take the precautions of wearing a facial covering and social distancing. There is no definite proof that a person cannot get the virus again.

What does it mean to be asymptomatic for COVID-19?

Being asymptomatic means you may not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, but may still have the virus and be contagious to others in the workplace and at home. Many people have mild and moderate cases at first, but more symptoms may arise in 2-14 days. It is important to self-quarantine for 14 days if you have been in close proximity to someone with COVID-19. 

If my employee tests positive, how long before they can return to work?

New guidance issued by the CDC for individuals with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home states that individuals may Return to Work under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.