Google translate gives "discover" and "detect" for "检测" as well as "examination" and "checking" for "检查".
When talking about COVID-19, should I use 检测 or 检查?
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In general, the difference between the two words is:
检测 means "to test"
检查 means "to inspect" or "to examine", but also "to test" works, in most contexts
When talking about viruses, the two terms are used a bit interchangeably. However you should use 检测 when referring to a diagnostic test:
阳性/阴性检测结果 positive/negative test results
检测冠状病毒的仪器 coronavirus testing devices
大部分患者尚未进行新冠病毒检测 most patients have not been tested for the coronavirus
You can use 检查 when you mean "to inspect" or "to test" more generically:
对外来人口进行检查 conduct tests/inspections (generic) on the foreign population
胸部CT检查发现异常 thoracic CT scan shows anomalies
进行食品安全检查 conduct food safety inspections
Since COVID-19 was mentioned, I want to share some real-world examples of 检测 being used. A few weeks ago, here in Beijing there was an outbreak, and we all needed to get tested (检测) for COVID-19.
The first photo is the notice posted outside our building that we should all get tested (I covered up some local information for privacy):
So when being tested (检测) for COVID-19, we took the nucleic acid test 核酸检测. And I took a photo of my passport and 核酸检测卡 before getting tested: