How Long After Having COVID Can You Test Positive?

test positive for COVID-19

Have you contracted COVID-19? Are you now wondering how long can you test positive so that you can schedule a PCR test in Dubai accordingly? It’s a perplexing predicament if you continue to test positive for COVID-19. Especially after your symptoms have resolved and it’s been over 5 days.

The time it takes to test negative depends on the type of variant you contracted and the severity of the symptoms. You are not alone if your PCR test at home in Dubai continues to provide positive results, leaving you with qualms about reinfection. Read on to uncover more about this issue.

How Long Can I Test Positive for COVID-19?

It takes between five and six days for someone infected with Covid to show any symptoms. So it’s better to get tested after five days post-exposure or after the onset of symptoms. The quarantine period as per the new guidelines is 5 days. 

On a rapid test, you can test positive for 6 to 10 days. In some cases, that could be for up to 14 days. The positivity can linger on for weeks and months and it varies from person to person. A PCR testing can detect the virus one to three days before symptoms appear when the viral load is at its peak. The amount of virus in the body rapidly decreases beyond this stage, until it can no longer be detected by PCR. Asymptomatic people can test positive for one to two weeks, whereas people with mild-to-moderate symptoms can test positive for a week or longer.

According to experts, some people tend to test positive because the virus keeps replicating itself or because of the presence of fragmented virus genomes. If it’s the Omicron variant, it rests in the patient’s upper respiratory tract. On top of this, if the person is vaccinated or boosted, the quantity of nucleocapsid protein present in the back of the throat or nose is likely to be higher. This explains why their test result is positive beyond the suggested quarantine period.

Does a Positive Test Mean You Are Contagious? 

When you test positive, this indicates you have pieces of the virus in your body. Only the active bits of the virus can infect others. Fortunately, the virus becomes ineffective after 8 days.

Therefore, even when you still test positive for COVID-19, that does not mean you are shedding the virus which could infect others. You are not contagious; however, you must still wear a mask both at home and in public places. Just like the severity of the illness, recovery varies from person to person. 

The time required to test negative after catching the virus also depends on the type of test taken. A PCR test looks for parts of the viral genetic material in the body. It’s extremely sensitive and so it can pick up even the minutest of the viral fragments. An antigen test, on the other hand, is less sensitive. This type of test is most reliable when the presence of the virus is at its peak i.e., the early days. As a result, some people test positive on a PCR but negative on an antigen test. In this case, it implies that your body just has the residual virus RNA left and you are not infectious anymore. 

What to Do If You’re Still Positive in Dubai?

You are potentially contagious if you continue to test positive on an antigen test. This is a sign that the quantity of RNA present in your body is still high. The safe approach is to continue to isolate yourself until you are no longer positive. 

This may not be feasible for everyone. Taking CDC’s new guidelines into consideration, you can end isolation after 5 days. If you are fully vaccinated and your symptoms have resolved, even when your test is positive, keep taking precautions until you get a negative test.

Avoid going to enclosed spaces with others. Wear a mask and maintain a 6 feet distance. You are good to go after 10 days. However, it’s better to stay vigilant for yourself and the safety of others.  

When to Call a Doctor?

Watch out for emergency symptoms while you still have COVID. Seek medical assistance immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Low oxygen levels 
  • Unusual confusion
  • Inability to get out of bed or stay awake 

Feel free to call your medical provider if you experience anything that’s severe or is concerning. If you have been testing positive for an unusually long time and you are concerned, don’t wait. Check in with your doctor for guidance on your situation. To make it easier for yourself, connect with ServiceMarket. With them, you can instantly book a PCR test at home from a DHA-certified clinic and protect yourself and others around you.

Get your PCR test done at home!

BOOK NOWBook-now