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- A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
- An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection.
An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.
To find out more, and for the latest information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)