Why Are There So Many Different Types of COVID-19 Tests Available?

Why COVID-19 tests are in Abundance

Initially when the COVID-19 pandemic started, getting tested was a rare luxury available to only a small population. Now that we are over two years into the pandemic, there are over a hundred different test manufacturers and hundreds of different COVID-19 tests available and there is no shortage in sight. What happened over this period of time and why are there more COVID-19 tests available than I can count? Which ones can I use and which ones are not accepted?

As our understanding of the virus evolves, so do our detection methods for finding the virus. COVID-19 tests used to be the classic nasopharyngeal (nasal) swab detection method (Click here to read on how a standard nasal swab COVID-19 test is conducted), now COVID-19 can be detected using saliva samples in a spit test, and blood samples in antibody or serology tests. Not only are there more types of COVID-19 detection tests now, more are being produced. 

What Type of COVID-19 Tests are Accepted?

According to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the coronavirus pandemic is considered a public health emergency that has significant potential to affect national security and the health of United States citizens domestic and abroad. In response to this, the FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization justifying the use of in vitro diagnostics for the detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19, personal respiratory protective devices, and other medical devices, including alternative products used as medical devices, for use during the COVID-19 outbreak. Essentially what this means is that biomed companies are able to produce COVID-19 detection tests on a much larger scale than before and that these tests will be valid when considering results.


This is great news for people who need to get COVID-19 tested regularly as there is no longer a shortage of tests. People can simply buy any over the counter test and as long as it is authorized under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization, it can be used to get accurate and official results. The ease of access to these COVID-19 tests not only makes the act of keeping our communities safe easier, it also means that the data and statistics used to track the virus are more current and accurate.


If you have some over the counter tests and would like to get tested but are unsure about the process, you may want to check out our Certified Virtual Teleservice. In the teleservice, a medical assistant will get on a video call with you and run through the testing procedure step by step. Additionally you will get a certificate with your results in about less than half an hour, with which you can use to certify you to travel internationally or to other events and cruises.

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