Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Whether you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 recently, or you’re feeling under the weather and suspect you have been infected with the coronavirus a negative test result doesn’t mean you’re safe to go out and about

The COVID-19 tests only test for infection at the time of testing and can show a false negative too. 

READ MORE: The anal COVID-19 test that has South Africans worried: When, why and how this is happening

Testing for COVID-19 is still important

Although feeling symptoms or having been in contact with someone who has tested positive means you should stay home regardless of your results, testing is still important and can be life-saving. 

Not only is it important so you can share your results with people you have been in close contact with, but also so that you are aware of your symptoms getting worse.

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According to Harvard Health testing also allows you to take better care of yourself and get prescription medicines to ease the symptoms. This medication could otherwise be counterproductive if taken without the guidance of a doctor. 

You could test negative even though you are infected

A positive test result is rarely wrong but according to pathcare 

a false negative is not uncommon especially for asymptomatic people making this type of infection more dangerous. 

While you may have no symptoms, test negative for COVID-19, if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or have recently had symptoms you may still have the coronavirus and could be contagious. 

READ MORE: More Beitbridge chaos: Fake “negative” Covid tests found

If you’re feeling sick you are vulnerable

When you’re feeling sick with a cold or the flu, which have similar symptoms to COVID-19, your immune system is not at its strongest and you are more susceptible to a sever COVID-19 infection.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says staying home when you are not feeling well, even if you have not tested positive for COVID-19 is advisable for your safety and those around you too.


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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.