Everything You Need to Know About Rapid COVID-19 Testing
If you or someone in your family suspects they may have contracted COVID-19 or need to be tested for work or travel, one of the best ways to do so is by investing in rapid COVID-19 testing.
However, you might have some questions about what the test entails, and its advantages and level of accuracy, so the team from Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena has collected everything you need to know here!
1. How is Rapid COVID-19 Testing Different?
Before getting too deep into the details, you may be wondering precisely what a rapid COVID-19 test entails and how it’s different from the other forms of testing out there. Both PCR tests and antigen tests are designed to identify current infections in the body, in addition to detecting antibodies that signify you’ve contracted COVID-19 at some point in the past.
The most common type of rapid COVID-19 testing is rapid antigen testing, designed to identify proteins in your body that are unique to the virus. The antigens rapid tests look for are what is used in the body to produce antibodies. Unlike PCR tests that look for the genetic material of COVID-19, rapid tests are designed only to detect these proteins.
2. The Rapid COVID-19 Testing Process
Like other tests, rapid antigen tests and molecular tests require a nasal swab specimen obtained by inserting a swab into the nostril, twisting it, and then removing it. It’s a painless process. In some cases, a saliva sample may also be taken to improve accuracy, and often, you’ll obtain your results in 15-30 minutes while you wait.
3. Benefits of Rapid COVID-19 Testing
There are some significant benefits to rapid COVID-19 testing, the first being that you’ll receive your results in the quickest manner possible. With the introduction of new variants that can progress much more rapidly, having your test results as soon as possible is always better than having to wait days. This helps you minimize the chance you’ll spread it to others in the household or community.
Additionally, rapid COVID-19 testing is much more affordable and easier than other forms of testing on the market. You can have a rapid test performed at your local clinic or health provider, where you’ll obtain the results directly. There are also at-home kits that you can purchase in which you can collect a test sample at your leisure.
4. Is Rapid COVID-19 Testing Accurate?
Unlike other testing methods, rapid COVID tests aren’t always as accurate as molecular tests that are sent to a laboratory for processing. It’s important to note that no test is 100% accurate all the time, so you may be wondering how often you’ll receive false results.
- False Negatives: There are cases where any COVID test can boast a false negative result. This has to do with the sensitivity of the test you take and when it’s taken. For example, molecular tests detect smaller amounts of the virus while antigen tests need the presence of much higher levels of the virus to produce an accurate result. It’s not uncommon to receive a false negative if you’ve been tested at the very beginning of contracting the virus, or at the end of having contracted it. However, if your results come back negative but you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s always best to contact a medical provider to be safe.
- False Positives: False-positive results can be a little trickier, in the sense that they are affected by how common the COVID-19 virus is present in your area. As the numbers in your area decrease, the number of false positives over true positive results will likely increase.
5. When Do I Need to Get Tested?
There are some clear signs and times when you should invest in rapid COVID-19 testing including:
- If you’ve come into close contact with someone who has been exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or has contracted the virus.
- You’ve been asked to do so by your physician or general health provider.
- You’re exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
- You’ve taken part in any activities recently that could place you at a higher risk of contracting the virus, such as going to concerts, parties, or being around large social gatherings.
Want to schedule rapid COVID-19 antigen test? Call us to book today!
For those in need of COVID-19 testing, the team from Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena offers a variety of services to suit your needs. In addition to our rapid testing, we also provide PCR testing, and antibody testing, as well as a variety of general healthcare services.
Contact us online today to schedule your appointment or call (626) 304-0404.