Nasal swab tests, or PCR tests, are able to detect a current infection with COVID-19 and are recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19, people who are close contacts of those with COVID-19, or people without symptoms who live or work in a high risk setting. Antibody tests look for exposure in the past, or someone who had COVID-19 previously and has now recovered.
Antibody testing is a blood test. At this time, antibody testing is unable to tell us if those antibodies will protect you from future COVID-19 infections. Antibody testing is only available for asymptomatic people after speaking with your doctor or healthcare provider, so most people seeking COVID-19 testing will likely receive the nasal swab test instead.