COVID Positive With No Symptoms

Epicentre News • 12 August 2020

As many people around us are getting sick, it’s crucial for us to not only understand if we have the virus, but to protect those around us by staying isolated when we get a positive diagnosis. This is important, even if we have no symptoms.

Those who are positive for an infection (COVID in this case) but have no symptoms are called ‘asymptomatic‘. Those that are asymptomatic are people that test positive for COVID but do not show any symptoms and do not show any evidence of infection in their chest scans (Gao, Xu, Sun, Wang, Guo, Qiu, & Ma, 2020).

Can I Test Positive with no Symptoms?

Being asymptomatic and not coughing or sneezing means they can still spread the virus and they will test positive for COVID. Those that are asymptomatic still have COVID and are still being affected by the virus.

This can be seen in the table below, as it can be seen that people who are asymptomatic and those that have a mild case will also test positive for COVID-19 in a PCR test (the throat and nose swab test).

(Gao et al., 2020)

Symptoms: Day by Day

Now take a look at the graph below and see how the infection progresses day by day for different kinds of COVID-19 infections.

In the first 3 bars you can see the different intensities of a COVID infection.

  1. The most severe infection, which results in death,
  2. A severe COVID infection with a recovery
  3. & the last is a mild case of the virus.

When looking at these bars it is important to know that the darker the colour means more serious symptoms. It is also important to understand that an asymptomatic infection would be similar to a mild infection, but with no symptoms.

These bars show us the stages of the virus in these different types of infections. These bars give us some insight into when you can expect to experience symptoms, but a full understanding is impossible unless you compare these kinds of infections against the 4rth or last bar which charts the stages of COVID.

A COVID infection starts with an exposure. An exposure is when you first get infected with the virus. This can be meeting with that friend that turns out to be COVID positive, or touching a shopping trolly handle or the office kettle that a COVID positive person has touched before.

The ways of catching this virus are endless, but the facts remain the same; after you have been exposed to COVID, it takes 5 days for that infection to develop into your body. Only after those 5 days will you officially have COVID and you can then test for COVID with a PCR test.

It is after those first 5 days of developing virus that the first 3 bars start because this is the official moment that the COVID infection has begun.



  1. Gao, Z., Xu, Y., Sun, C., Wang, X., Guo, Y., Qiu, S., & Ma, K. (2020). A systematic review of asymptomatic infections with COVID-19. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection.