What is a false negative COVID-19 PCR test result?

The test can sometimes show a negative result even if you are infected with COVID-19*.

This can happen if:

  • It is too soon for the test to detect the virus.
  • There was a problem with your sample or the test itself.

No test is 100% accurate at all times.

  • If your results are negative and you’re having symptoms, continue to follow isolation precautions and ask your healthcare provider if you need further testing.
  • If your results are negative and you don’t have any symptoms, continue to monitor for any symptoms up to 14 days after your last possible exposure.

*Although the possibility is low, a false-negative result should be considered if you have had recent exposure to the virus along with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.