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Why Accuracy and Professionalism Matter in COVID-19 Testing

why accuracy and professionalism matter in covid-19 testing

COVID-19 testing has undergone a quick evolution since its inception last year. While tests were once in short supply, most major hospitals and health clinics possess at least one form of COVID-19 testing

Expertise and COVID-19 Testing

Although there are home tests available to detect COVID-19, these tests are not administered with the same level of expertise found in professional clinics and may be at greater risk of producing a false result. When going in for a COVID-19 test, you want to make sure you are receiving the most accurate information possible. At Rapid Care, we provide that level of expertise

Conducting Tests Correctly

The procedure for conducting COVID-19 tests involves either gathering a blood sample, collecting a mucus sample, or swabbing the nose. The availability of different tests will determine the type of gathering technique that is used. While companies have put together home kits for convenience, these tests do not guarantee that tests will be conducted correctly. 

Appropriately Handling Materials

Testing materials can easily be contaminated and mismanaged, which can also lead to false positives or negatives. Our testing site is managed by medical professionals to make sure that test results are accurate and are not at risk of being in close contact with potentially contaminated or otherwise damaging materials. 

Supplying All Necessary Information

Before conducting a test, our staff will make sure that community testing is conducted in accordance with local statutes and suggestions. We will evaluate the presence of symptoms of COVID-19 prior to tests, and we will walk patients through the testing process

At our practice, we provide necessary materials and information for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, and will also take patients through the next steps should they test negative despite the presence of symptoms

How Accurate Are COVID-19 Tests?

Although the health care response to the coronavirus has improved in vast strides in the past year, it should be noted that testing is still subject to the same issues common to other medical tests. Some testing inaccuracies are due to user error, but some are also due to limitations in technology. To determine which test is best for you, we will look at the three types of tests currently in use.

Rapid Testing

Rapid testing was developed as a way to preserve public health. Rapid testing allowed people to receive an immediate answer for their symptoms, and more effectively passed through the population that needed to quarantine, versus the population that did not. Nevertheless, the quick production of these tests and the rapid technology do have their limits, and rapid tests are among those most likely to produce a false positive or negative. 

Long-Form Diagnostic Testing

Long-form diagnostic testing is also called PCR testing, or Polymerase Chain Reaction testing. This test has become the preferred avenue for most health practitioners, as it offers the most reliable results. We offer the RT-PCR test which determines whether you are ill at the time of the test, though it can also detect remaining vestiges of the virus after an infection has concluded. 

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing is conducted to determine an individual’s immunity to the virus causing COVID-19. Antibody testing is most often used not to identify an active infection, but to identify the presence of a previous infection with the virus. 

The Rapid Care Difference

At Rapid Care, we value accuracy and professionalism, and we bring those values to our COVID-19 testing sites in Memphis and Germantown. Reach out to our office today for a COVID-19 testing experience that puts you at ease and in good hands.

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What to Expect from a Rapid COVID-19 Test

what to expect from a Rapid COVID-19 test

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting tested for the virus has become part of our new normal. Whether you are sick, planning to travel, or headed back to school or work, you may need a COVID-19 test.

Here, we will break down what to expect from the Rapid COVID-19 test, the other types of tests available, when to be tested, and how long it takes to get your results.

The COVID-19 Testing Process

Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing. Every testing location has different policies. At Rapid Care, once you arrive for your appointment, a nurse administers your COVID test curbside while you remain in your car. Your results may be available while you wait or return to you within a few days.

Continue reading to determine if you need to be tested and which test to choose.

Who Should Be Tested

Coronavirus testing is not just for sick patients. Those who have come into contact with infected individuals or who need to show that they do not have an active infection can be tested too. According to the CDC, COVID tests are available for patients who:

  • Are showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status or previous infection
  • Have been in close contact with a COVID positive patient
  • Need test results for work or travel
  • Have had a physician or medical professional recommend testing

Even if they have been in contact with a COVID-positive patient, individuals who have been vaccinated are not required to be tested.

COVID-19 Tests: Which Do You Need?

There are different COVID tests available. There are diagnostic tests, which check for active COVID-19 infections, and antibody tests, which detect the history of infection. Each has a different testing method, processing time for results, and accuracy level. 

Rapid Antigen

The Rapid Antigen test is a diagnostic tool that checks for an active infection. It is performed using a nasal or throat swab. Test results are available in approximately 30 minutes.

While generally accurate, false negatives are possible with this test. The Rapid Antigen test is most accurate for patients who are showing symptoms. False negatives are more common in patients who may test too soon after coming in contact with the virus or who do not have symptoms. 

Rapid Antibody

The Rapid Antibody test checks for a previous infection. Since it takes your body up to 3 weeks to create antibodies, this test cannot detect a current infection.

Antibody tests are done through a finger prick with results in 15 minutes.

Molecular Tests

The molecular test is the RT-PCR test, which is a diagnostic test for active infections. It is highly accurate and is used for traveling. A sample is collected through a nasal or throat swab.

PCR test results may be ready within 60 minutes.

Result Expectations

Factors such as the test used and the day of the week you are tested can play a role in its processing. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Results?

Results may be available within minutes or in a few days. The Rapid Antigen test provides results while you wait. Results from the molecular tests are available within 1 hour

If you need a COVID-19 test for traveling, laboratory documentation will be provided with your RT-PCR travel test results.

What to Do If You Test Positive

According to the CDC, patients who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine to avoid spreading the virus to others. In addition, you should do the following:

  • Stay home unless seeking medical care.
  • Minimize or avoid contact with other people and pets in your household.
  • Rest and stay hydrated. You may take over-the-counter medication to ease your symptoms.

If you test negative, you most likely were not sick when your test sample was collected. However, you could show symptoms and need to be tested again in the future.

Schedule a COVID-19 Test

Rapid Care offers COVID-19 testing in Memphis and Germantown. 

We provide antigen, molecular, and antibody testing. Simply choose the test you need and schedule an appointment using our online form. A nurse will administer the test curbside while you sit comfortably and safely in your car.

Contact Rapid Care

If you need a Rapid COVID-19 test in Memphis or Germantown, book an appointment with Rapid Care today.