After many months of living in the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been widespread distribution of many different types of Covid-19 testing options. With the increased accessibility and types of testing, there has also arisen many questions regarding what the different types of testing do and how effective they are.
Whether you have Covid-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone with the virus, or need to get tested for work or any other personal reason, there are a few things to consider. If you want to get tested to know if you are currently infected with Covid-19, there are two different testing options- antigen testing and molecular tests.
- Antigen Testing
An antigen test is done via nasal or throat swab and can be conducted at a hospital or doctor’s office. The purpose of this test is to look for antigens (protein fragments) from the virus in the collected sample. The results of this test are quite speedy, hence why it is often called a ‘rapid test,’ and results are usually available within minutes.
There are drawbacks however to antigen testing. The reported false-negative rates for antigen testing might actually be as high as 50%. Because of this, the FDA has recommended against the single-use use of antigen testing to detect Covid-19. However, because of its reduced costs and higher accessibility, repeated antigen testing can help to offset some of these potentially high false-negative rates.
- Molecular Tests
The molecular tests, also known as PCR, viral RNA, or nucleic acid tests, can be done through nasal swabs, throat swabs, and tests of other bodily fluids like saliva. You can get these tests in a hospital or doctor’s office, as well as in your car for curbside testing services. These tests are designed to detect viral genetic material in your bodily fluids. The turnaround time for these tests is varied and highly dependent on lab capacity and can take anywhere from a day to a week depending on the processing time of the lab.
The good news about molecular tests is that they have a much lower reported rate of false negatives- as low as 2% and as high as 29% dependent on the site and the quality of sampling. You might have heard about the deep nasal swab as a common testing method, and this is a great option because this technique has very low false-negative results.
- Antibody Testing
An antibody or serologic test is done through blood samples at a doctor’s office, blood testing lab, or hospital. This test is done to determine whether or not someone has had Covid-19 and looks for antibodies in the immune system that have been produced as a response to the virus.
Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena Provides Covid-19 Testing & More
If you’re looking to get tested for Covid-19, then give us a call at Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena. Our testing is safe and reliable, and you will hear results within a few days. We even offer curbside Covid-19 testing so that you can access services from the safety and comfort of your own vehicle!