Why COVID-19 and Flu Testing Is Still Crucial

Why COVID-19 and Flu Testing Are Still Crucial


We may be getting back to the new normal, but that doesn’t mean testing isn’t important.

September 29, 2022

You may be facing a bit of testing fatigue, but it’s easier than before to stay in the know. 

As the virus continues to evolve, COVID testing remains “absolutely necessary,” said Allyson Kozak, Ph.D., MBA, NRCC, a scientific liaison at Roche Diagnostics, who recommends brushing up on CDC testing guidelines:

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.
  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and don’t have symptoms, wait at least five full days after exposure to test with an at-home or antigen test. While if you'd like to test sooner, a PCR test is the better choice. 
  • Consider testing before contact with people at high risk for severe COVID-19. That includes people who are over age 65, are immunocompromised or obese, or have diabetes, asthma, chronic lung disease or sickle cell disease. 

Though it’s hard to tell exactly what will happen with COVID, preparing can help you make the best choices to protect yourself and the people important in your life.

In addition to COVID tests, flu tests or combined COVID-flu tests might be the ideal choice for you. To choose the best tests, you just have to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist the right questions. Here are a few to consider:  Can I take a combined COVID-flu test? Can I get tested for more things than COVID and flu at once? Can I order a PCR test? How much will it cost? I have symptoms of flu/COVID. How can I get tested quickly? How do I know if I’m at high risk for complications for COVID or flu? Am I eligible for antiviral drugs? Am I eligible for free testing? Where can I go to get it?

When planning to test, knowing your options is key. Be prepared. Before anyone gets sick, ask your healthcare provider or local pharmacist about tests that can be done quickly for both COVID and flu. Some doctor’s offices have the ability to turn around results for PCR tests during your visits.


Allyson Kozak, Ph.D., MBA, NRCC, is a board-certified clinical chemist and specializes in clinical chemistry, toxicology and immunoassays, including SARS-CoV-2 antibody diagnostics, at Roche Diagnostics. She has also served as a laboratory medical director, toxicology expert witness and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.


Jamie Phillips Deeter, M.S., Ph.D., obtained her doctorate in infectious diseases, specifically studying viral evolution related to coronaviruses. Previously she has been an ORISE fellow at the CDC and served as a director of research for a small biotech firm. She joined Roche’s medical and scientific affairs team in 2017. During the pandemic she helped launch three of Roche’s SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests and has served as a subject matter expert.

Disclaimer: This content is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health provider regarding a medical condition.