When getting tested for COVID-19, it’s common to have questions about the types of tests, how they work, and their accuracy. This article covers the different types of COVID testing, including the tests provided by Physicians Immediate Care to support your health.
There are two types of tests available: antigen testing and PCR testing.
Molecular PCR Testing for COVID-19
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing works by detecting the genetic material of the coronavirus. In PCR testing, a sample is taken from the nose with a swab. A technician or medical professional then uses a scientific device to replicate the genetic material until there are millions of copies. Even if only a very small amount of the virus is present in the sample, copying the genetic material allows it to become detectable. The machine then checks if the replicated genetic material matches the known genetic sequence of COVID-19. Because the test amplifies the amount of viral genetic material present, PCR testing has a higher level of accuracy and sensitivity, even when patients are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.
If you do NOT have symptoms, but need testing for travel, work, school, etc., Physicians Immediate Care offers a COVID-19 Molecular PCR lab test (This is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test – NAAT) with results within 24 – 48 hours. We prefer this test due to its high accuracy.. Walk-in or reserve your time online.
COVID-19 Antigen Testing
- Antigen tests work by testing a nasal or throat swab for the presence of unique proteins, called antigens, that make up part of the virus that causes COVID-19. Antigen tests are a popular choice to test people showing symptoms of COVID-19. Since antigen tests are most effective when the patient shows symptoms of the virus, at the beginning or end stages of an infection, there may not be enough antigens present for the test to detect.
At Physicians Immediate Care, you will receive an Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test with results in 15 minutes if you are exhibiting symptoms. If this test is negative and you need results from a PCR test, you will receive a COVID-19 PCR lab test. For positive tests, no additional COVID testing is needed. Walk-in or reserve your time online.
Testing for Past COVID-19 Infections
An antibody test determines if you had a COVID-19 infection in the past. It does this by testing a blood sample for antibodies made by the immune system to help fight off COVID-19. Unlike antigen and PCR tests, antibody tests do not tell you if you currently have COVID-19.
At this time, the CDC does not recommend taking an antibody test to determine if you are immune from COVID-19 following a vaccine, to decide whether you need a vaccine if you are unvaccinated, or to determine if you need to quarantine.
Click here for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antibody-tests-guidelines.html
How Can I Find Same-Day COVID Testing Near Me?
Physicians Immediate Care doesn’t just provide same-day results from COVID testing. Our testing methods provide results in under 15 minutes. If you’re wondering where to get a COVID rapid test, the answer is simple. Physicians Immediate Care offers rapid COVID testing at over 50 locations in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
No other urgent care has invested in patient and staff safety like Physicians Immediate Care. To protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses in our clinics, have implemented advanced clinic enhancements. These upgrades include state-of-the-art ventilation and air purification systems and UVC lights, which kill harmful microorganisms and assist with the deep cleaning of exam rooms.
As a full-service urgent care clinic, we do much more than regular COVID testing sites. We provide a full medical exam and consultation for each of our patients. For patients that test positive, we provide symptomatic treatments and the advice you need to monitor your condition, know what you should do, and how to protect others from COVID-19. For negative tests, we work to diagnose and treat the cause of any symptoms you may have. Whether your COVID test is positive or negative, we provide the tools for you to start feeling better.