With the omicron variant spreading so rapidly, many are wondering, if exposed to COVID-19 or you are not feeling well, how long should you wait to get tested?

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If you know for sure that you came in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus or you happen to feel like you are catching a cold it is best to wait 3-5 days after exposure to get a test. This applies to a lab or at-home test.

Often people get tested immediately after exposure and will often test negative but then a couple of days later start feeling the symptoms and get tested then test positive.

Many people were a part of large family gatherings over the holidays or even went somewhere to celebrate New Year's Eve, the chances of omicron spreading is highly likely.

Sometimes it is tough to tell what is a simple common cold and the omicron variant because the symptoms are so close, but your best bet it is always to play it safe and get a test.

A lab test will take a little longer for you to get your results but the tests are more sensitive and accurate. Many of the at-home tests work but are not as accurate as a lab. Plus, since you get an immediate answer some people use them too quickly after exposure and the test may be negative when in fact you are positive for the virus.

WOOD reported, an infections disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said, "If you're planning on getting tested but are still waiting for the optimal window, wear a mask and self-quarantine after exposure." 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened the quarantine recommendations earlier this week from 10 days to 5 days. The CDC stated that if you are infected with the virus you are most likely to be infectious to others two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

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