What is a reference range?

A reference range is the value that the lab considers normal or typical for a healthy person. For example, a healthy person’s test result would not detect COVID-19, so the reference range would be “negative” or “not detected.” If your test result shows a value of “positive” or “detected,” that falls outside of the reference range and would be considered abnormal or atypical.

The reference range is used to compare your test result to the normal value set by the lab in order to determine your health situation and the next steps in your care.