What Coronavirus Test Results Do — And Don't — Mean : Short Wave Even though we've been living with the pandemic for months, there's still lots of confusion about coronavirus tests and what the results do — and don't — mean. NPR correspondent Rob Stein explains the types of tests, when they are most accurate and how to make sense of the results.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.
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What Coronavirus Test Results Do — And Don't — Mean

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What Coronavirus Test Results Do — And Don't — Mean

What Coronavirus Test Results Do — And Don't — Mean

What Coronavirus Test Results Do — And Don't — Mean

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/920924567/921317107" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Nurse practitioner Willie Rios collects nasal swab for a coronavirus test from Araceli Merlos at St. John's Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles, CA. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images hide caption

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Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Nurse practitioner Willie Rios collects nasal swab for a coronavirus test from Araceli Merlos at St. John's Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Even though we've been living with the pandemic for months, there's still lots of confusion about coronavirus tests and what the results do — and don't — mean. NPR correspondent Rob Stein explains the types of tests, when they are most accurate and how to make sense of the results.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson, fact-checked by Ariela Zebede, and edited by Gisele Grayson and Viet Le.