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What Are Rapid COVID-19 Tests?

Typical COVID-19 tests can sometimes take days to come back, which can instill worry and anxiousness or delay clearance for work. Fortunately, rapid COVID-19 tests are available, which can give you results quickly. In this blog, the health professionals at Ross Bridge Medical Center explain everything involved in rapid testing.

What is rapid testing?

At Ross Bridge Medical Center, we offer three types of tests: COVID-19 rapid antigen testing, COVID-19 PCR testing, and COVID-19 antibody testing. Rapid antigen testing tests not for the virus itself, but rather for a protein the body makes when it fights the virus. Rapid antigen testing provides quick results, 15-30 minutes in many cases.

As noted, we also offer COVID-19 PCR testing — which tests for the virus itself — and COVID-19 antibody testing — which can see if you’ve had the virus in the past — but it can take longer to get the results of these tests.

How does rapid testing work?

When you get a rapid antigen test, your provider takes a mucus sample using a nasopharyngeal swab, or nasal swab. You may be asked to blow your nose to bring a better sample forward for collection. The swab goes up your nose and remains there for a couple of seconds to collect the best sample possible.

Your provider then removes the swab, puts the sample in a collection tube or test card, and follows the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the test. Results may be interpreted visually or with an instrument analyzer.

How accurate is rapid testing?

Positive results from rapid tests are typically highly accurate. False positives are a possibility, but they’re not likely. False negatives, on the other hand, are more likely. That’s not to say that all negative results are false, but negative results may need to be followed up with a standard PCR test to confirm. This is especially true if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but get a negative rapid test result.

In order to be sure you don’t have COVID-19, it’s recommended that you receive two negative test results, with at least one of them being from a standard PCR test. Testing should be completely covered by your insurance at this time, and if you don’t have insurance, there will be no cost to you.

How is testing done at Ross Bridge Medical Center?

An appointment is required for testing at Ross Bridge Medical Center. Walk-ins are not accepted at this time. Rapid tests are performed on a first-come-first-served basis. Upon arrival, you’ll stay in your vehicle, where your test will be performed.

To learn more about getting tested for COVID-19, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ross Bridge Medical Center today.

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