Different Types of COVID-19 Tests
It’s now the end of September 2021 and COVID-19 is definitely a household name. The topic of COVID-19 continues to dominate news stations, social media, and conversations in general. By this point, we all know what COVID-19 is and we likely know the symptoms...but what do you do if you actually have symptoms? What do you do if you don’t have symptoms but were exposed to someone with COVID-19? These questions need to be answered so that we as a community can contain the spread of COVID-19 as best as possible.
If you or a loved one shows symptoms or has been in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, the next step is a COVID test. At HealthCARE Express, we currently offer four different types of COVID-19 tests and we suggest certain types of tests based on whether you’re asymptomatic, have symptoms, or need proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Before we jump right into the different types of COVID-19 tests, we ask that you book an appointment for a COVID-19 test if you are not feeling any symptoms. If you do feel symptoms, you are welcome to walk-in and get a COVID-19 test. Tim Reynolds, MD states “Rapid Antigen testing is appropriate for over 90% of patients needing to be tested - all patients with symptoms. PCR test may be required in special circumstances where the results are unclear or if PCR testing is required for travel, pre-op, etc.”
Four Different Types of Coronavirus Tests
PCR TEST (LAB)
PCR means polymerase chain reaction. This type of test detects genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. This is a popular COVID-19 test as it analyzes your upper respiratory specimen, looking for SARS-CoV-2. The test results come back on average 2-4 days. We typically recommend a PCR test for those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This test is available at all our clinic locations and is covered by most insurance. This test must be done inside one of our clinics; the PCR test is not available for drive-up testing.
RAPID ANTIGEN TEST
This type of test looks for molecules on the surface of the virus, whereas the PCR test looks for genetic material from the virus. The PCR test requires specialized equipment and takes longer for results, whereas Rapid Antigen Test results become available in about 15 minutes. Tim Reynolds, MD states “Rapid Antigen testing is appropriate for over 90% of patients needing to be tested - all patients with symptoms. PCR test may be required in special circumstances where the results are unclear or if PCR testing is required for travel, pre-op, etc.”
RAPID MOLECULAR PCR (ABBOTT/IDNOW)
This type of COVID-19 test detects viral genetic material through multiple amplification cycles in PCR testing, just like the standard PCR test. Unlike the standard PCR test, the Rapid Molecular PCR test yields same-day results. The test is performed by a nasal swab and can be conducted at our Midwest City, Wake Village, Bryant, and Blanchard locations. The PCR test is highly sought after because it’s primarily used by asymptomatic patients for travel or pre-operation purposes and results come the same-day, whereas the standard PCR takes 2-4 days.
An antibody test is a screening for “antibodies'' in your blood. Your body makes antibodies when it fights infection, such as COVID-19. The antibody test is not actually testing for the virus, it’s checking to see whether your immune system has responded to an infection or not. This type of test gives health officials a better idea of how common the virus is. The Coronavirus antibody tests at HealthCARE Express check for Immunoglobulin G (IgG). IgG antibodies appear within 7-20 days of infection. Unlike all the other types of tests we offer, this one is not performed by a nasal swab, it’s performed through a blood draw. Results come 1-3 days within testing.
HEALTHCARE EXPRESS IS HERE FOR YOU!
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not, we have the right test for you. Our top priority is to keep you safe and educated about COVID-19 and other illnesses. While taking care of you and your loved ones, we try to make your visits as enjoyable as possible. We want you to have that “WOWZA” experience each and every time we see you. Online booking is now available so you don’t have to wait your turn at the clinic. Just schedule and wait in your car until it’s your turn.
Please visit us online for more information about HealthCARE Express.