Test results through Color are generally available within 24 to 36 hours when the sample is returned to a COVID Test Kiosk by 1:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Results will be delayed for samples dropped off after 1:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, or on Sunday.
Results are housed in Epic, Yale Health’s electronic health record. Results are released to MyChart, Epic’s patient portal, when finalized by the lab. All faculty, staff, and students tested through the Yale COVID-19 Testing Program must enroll in MyChart to receive results.
Five different results are possible:
- Negative or Not Detected results: This indicates that there is no evidence of infection at the time of the test. You may have a very low level of virus in your system so this does not rule out that you may become positive on a subsequent test.
- Positive or Detected results: This indicates that there was evidence of viral infection at the time the sample was taken. Isolation guidance is provided for those who test positive.
- Inconclusive: The test looks for two sites on the virus; both must be positive for the test to be considered positive. When only one viral site is positive, the test is called inconclusive and must be repeated, as it could represent an early positive test. You should repeat your test within 24 hours.
- Invalid: The lab uses human DNA as a control to make sure the sample is adequate. If there is no human DNA in the sample, it is labeled as invalid and not processed. In most cases, this indicates a need to be firmer in swabbing the sides of your nose. You should repeat your test within 24 hours.
- Unsatisfactory or TNP: This result means Test Not Processed. This can happen for several reasons but most commonly is due to too much mucous in the sample, which typically happens when a tester doesn’t first blow their nose. You should repeat your test within 24 hours.
If you receive an inconclusive, invalid, or TNP result, you should repeat your test within 24 hours.