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The Omicron Variant: Everything You Need To Know

The Omicron Variant: Everything You Need To Know

The emergence of the new Omicron variant has thrown the entire world into a new wave of uncertainties. As of writing this article, this variant has been discovered in up to 23 different countries. 

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated it as a variant of concern due to worries about its transmissibility, unusual profile, an abnormal constellation of mutations, and worrisome properties. 

So, what is this new variant making a splash in headlines all over the world?

What Is the Omicron Variant?

The Omicron variant is a newly discovered variant of the coronavirus. The variant was sequenced by epidemiologists in South Africa, and their findings were reported to the WHO on November 24, 2021. According to their findings, over 30 mutations in the virus’ spike protein were discovered, and its origin is still a matter of debate. 

There’s still much to learn about the new Omicron variant. Scientists are still learning to uncover the nature of its transmissibility, severity, and immune evasiveness. But just like all viruses and other infectious diseases, more data is needed to draw a full picture of its risk profile and transmissibility potential. 

For instance, earlier reports indicated that the variant could only cause mild infection. However, the variant was only recently sequenced, so it is difficult to conclude whether this variant could be less severe than its predecessors or not since we do not have enough data to justify that at this moment.

What You Should Know About Its Presence in the United States

Just recently, the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in the United State in a traveler who had just returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. Further investigations revealed that the affected individual only experienced mild symptoms and has even recovered. 

Just as expected, this new variant has thrown a wave of uncertainties concerning holiday travel. If you plan to travel, do not cancel your trip yet. The key is to stay informed about the traveling and testing requirements in destination states and countries. 

Most airlines, states, and destination countries will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 1-3 days of departure regardless of vaccination status or citizenship. The test that is currently recognized by international airlines and countries is the  PCR test

However, travel guidelines vary from state to state and at the international level. Similarly, travel requirements get updated from time to time. Hence, it is important to stay informed about these changes.

Vaccines and the Omicron Variant

Vaccines are highly effective in reducing a person’s risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19. However, scientists are still trying to understand the nature of the virus’ transmissibility and measure its capacity to evade the immune response. 

Some countries are currently trying their best to roll out vaccine booster doses to control the spread of the variant. But the impact and the extent to which a booster dose will provide effective protection is still being investigated by experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that the recent emergence of this new variant emphasizes how vaccination plays a crucial role in protecting against coronavirus infection.

Getting COVID-19 Testing Amid the Omicron Variant

Amid the uncertainties regarding the Omicron variant, there are concerns if current COVID-19 tests can actually detect the Omicron variant and the implication for traveling. Short answer, yes. According to experts, current tests should be able to detect the Omicron variant. 

Also, since the Omicron variant falls under the category of coronavirus variants, all current COVID-19 testing and traveling requirements that apply during these uncertain times apply to the Omicron variant as well. 

It is important for travelers to know which airlines and destination countries require negative proof of COVID-19 test results and get tested, so it doesn’t serve as a barrier to their travel plans.

At Rapid Care, we provide accurate and same-day COVID-19 PCR tests using the latest CDC testing guidelines. Feel free to schedule a test for the fastest PCR test in Memphis and Germantown, TN.

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Everything You Need To Know About PCR Tests for Travel

Contact Rapid Care for the fastest PCR test near me

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on virtually every aspect of human life around the world. Currently, the entire world is still buzzing with lots of questions and uncertainties. Everyone is responding to the pandemic by taking measures to slow down and limit the spread of the virus. 

For instance, travel guidelines exist around the world for traveling from country to country and even at the inter-state level. Typical examples are testing and travel requirements such as RT-PCR tests for different states and countries. This guide explains everything you need to know about PCR tests for travel. You will discover what the test means and why you need to have one.

What Is a PCR Test?

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It is a special kind of molecular chain reaction test for detecting the genetic material of an organism such as a virus. Thus, a COVID-19 PCR test detects the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19, which in this case is the SARS-CoV-2 genetic material

Why Do You Need One?

Even amidst the pandemic, there are still chances for families to reconnect through vacations and opportunities for businesses to thrive. Traveling is a part of life for both families and businesses across the globe. But we’re still in a pandemic, so traveling comes with certain levels of restrictions and requirements for different states and countries. 

But one thing is common, some countries, states, and certain airlines require evidence of a negative COVID-19 infection. So it is essential to be prepared and have all the necessary information and requirements for your destination state or country before you travel. 

Currently, molecular testing is the gold standard and the only reliable reference for identifying infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The type of test required by most government agencies both locally and internationally is the PCR test.

What Do COVID-19 PCR Tests Results Mean?

Suppose your test result comes out positive. This means that the test detected the presence of the virus causing COVID-19 in your system. Thus, the test suggests that you’re already infected with COVID-19. 

But, if your test result comes out negative, the test result means the presence of the virus causing COVID-19 was not detected in your system at the time of the test. This suggests that you’re currently not infected with the virus. 

How Is a PCR Test Different from The Rapid Antigen Test?

Two major types of tests are normally used to diagnose infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 – PCR tests and antigen tests. The antigen test is also referred to as a rapid antigen test. These tests detect different parts of the virus, which influences the speed of detection and the degree of accuracy of the test result. 

For instance, the antigen test simply detects a protein fragment that is specific to the virus, while the PCR tests detect the genetic material (RNA) that is specific to the virus. 

Because of the differences in the testing targets, an antigen test result can be reported within 30 minutes. While a PCR test result will take longer, it is still possible to get the result the same day or even within an hour the test was conducted

However, a PCR test result is more accurate and more reliable. It is currently the type of test that is recommended by states, countries, or airlines that require proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. 

Antigen tests are only accurate when a person already has much of the virus in their body system and is already showing symptoms. So an antigen test can miss early cases of COVID-19 and are thus less accurate than a PCR test.

What to Know about COVID-19 Testing for Travelers

While the testing conditions and requirements vary from state to state and from country to country, some states require you to present negative proof of the COVID-19 test. Similarly, some airlines will also require their passengers to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before allowing them to get on board

Because travel restrictions and requirements differ from one country to another, it is important that travelers know which countries require a PCR test, the required test, and countries that do not require a PCR test before traveling locally or internationally. More importantly, these guidelines and traveling requirements are updated from time to time.

At Rapid Care Testing, our test performance follows the highest standards using accurate methods from qualified professionals. We make traveling easy for you whether you’re preparing for work or vacation. 

We provide accurate PCR testing for travel to meet the necessary requirements for flights, public transportation, and local and international destinations. Results are ready in as little as an hour within our online portal with a unique QR code that is accepted for travel to most countries.

So, if you’ve been searching online for a same day PCR test near me, then schedule a test for the fastest PCR test in Memphis and Germantown, TN 

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Same Day Results: COVID Testing Near Me

Same Day Results: COVID Testing Near Me

Same-Day COVID Testing

Although the gold standard in COVID testing has been send-away tests evaluated in a lab, as people return to work and play, the need for rapid tests has increased. Rapid testing has increasingly become a sought-after tool as businesses, employers, and even family members have increasingly required proof of negative COVID-19 status

What Is a Same-Day Test?

Same-day tests provide test results in as little as 15 minutes. These tests can be found at urgent care centers and many other testing sites and centers for COVID-19 vaccines, though they are not usually available at city or county testing sites. 

Are Same-Day COVID-19 Tests Effective?

An antigen test is considered almost as effective as a PCR test, though they may be more likely to give a false negative. People who come into close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 often seek out same-day tests in order to appease family, friends, or even supervisors. They are also used for travel and attending events. Though they have been known to give more false negatives than PCR tests, they are usually considered effective enough for widespread use

How Long Do Same-Day Results Take to Arrive?

Same-day results typically take between 10 and 15 minutes following the administration of a nose swab. 

When to Get a Rapid Test

Health insurance covers rapid tests, though many insurance companies primarily focus on covering PCR tests. Nevertheless, there are several instances in which a rapid test is a better option. Travel, workplace requirements, and certain events and locations can all make it necessary to seek out a rapid COVID-19 testing center. 

Checking Workplace and Local Requirements

Whether you have been exposed to the novel coronavirus or you have actively come into contact with an infected individual, you may require a rapid test to appease a supervisor or company with strict coronavirus rules in place. Some more strict companies may require a PCR test following a negative rapid test due to concerns about low viral loads slipping past unnoticed, though this may be less common. 

Testing for Specific Plans

Bars, concert venues, and even restaurants may require proof of negative test status prior to granting entrance, either in conjunction with or in the place of a vaccine verification. Testing may also be required after attending large events. 

Testing for Travel

Travel may also require a rapid test. Some areas implemented testing procedures when crossing borders, and many airlines and other travel methods have adopted either vaccine or testing policies. Rapid tests can eliminate the worry involved with making plans and can provide a simple and easy way to ensure that your plans are not derailed by an unexpected illness or problematic vaccine record. 

Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN

Rapid testing is a wonderful tool in the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are trying to get approval to travel or you were exposed to the coronavirus and require proof of negative status, rapid testing can help without requiring you to cancel plans or amend your work schedule. To learn more about rapid testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN, reach out to us today!

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COVID-19 Antibodies: What We Know Now

COVID-19 Antibodies: What We Know Now

What Are Antibodies?

Antibodies are proteins developed in response to an illness or a vaccine. Antigens and antibodies work in tandem to create an immune response to combat substances the body recognizes as foreign or problematic. 

The body’s immune system develops these responses after infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They function as an important part of the body’s overall immune response, but they are also used to determine the presence of an immune response and previous infection from an external pathogen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies the different types of immunity available following vaccination and infection.  

Antibodies and Illness

Antibodies are important both in the determination of an illness and the fight against an illness. Certain antibodies indicate the presence of certain immune responses and the body will produce antibodies in specific ways following different types of infection. Antibody levels are important in determining how severe an illness is and how effectively the body is actively fighting infectious diseases. 

Antibodies and COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have been the subject of great debate and interest as the pandemic has raged across the world. Antibody testing has existed for a long time within the pandemic and was at one point considered an important test for limiting the reach of COVID-19

Measuring how the body is able to develop antibodies in cases of COVID-19 can help determine how the body responds to the coronavirus as a whole. Antibodies can help identify the best course of action in measuring the incidence of infection with the virus and how the body is most likely to respond

Current Research on COVID-19 Antibodies

Although research regarding COVID-19 has largely pivoted in favor of COVID-19 vaccines, efforts have continued to persist in testing how immune to COVID-19 people are after becoming infected with and subsequently recovering from the virus. 

How Long Can COVID-19 Immunity Last?

The duration of immunity continues to be up for debate. Some studies have suggested that natural immunity can last as long as 10+ months following infection. Some have determined that immunity following vaccination peaks at 3-4 months before experiencing a steady decline, necessitating an additional booster shot. Other studies continue to show mixed results. 

As a result of the continued uncertainty regarding COVID-19 immunity after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 or received a vaccination, governing bodies continue to recommend vaccines and subsequent boosters to maintain an effective immune response and minimize the likelihood of severe disease. 

Can I Get COVID-19 Again?

Yes. Prior infection does not necessarily indicate that you are no longer susceptible to infection. What it does mean, however, is that subsequent illness is not likely to be as severe, or may even be asymptomatic. Different variants may also play a role in determining the likelihood of re-infection. The delta variant, for instance, may be more equipped to evade immune responses than other variants. 

COVID-19 Antibodies and Subsequent Risk

The presence of COVID-19 antibodies does not necessarily indicate that re-infection is impossible. It may lessen the risk of reinfection, or may lessen the likelihood of severe illness should reinfection occur. Ultimately, the presence of antibodies, whether resulting from infection or vaccination, does indicate that the risk of serious illness is less than in individuals without exposure. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing Near You

Getting a positive test result can provide some insight into the presence of an old infection or an effective uptake of a vaccine. Antibody tests measure your body’s response to a COVID-19 infection. They may also be used to determine your body’s response to vaccination several weeks or months after your final dose. Rapid Care offers serology tests. 

If you are in search of rapid antibody tests in Germantown and Memphis, TN, schedule your appointment today! 

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The Delta Variant’s Spread: Getting a COVID-19 Antibody Test

The Delta Variant’s Spread: Getting a COVID-19 Antibody Test

If you’ve tuned into the news recently, you have likely heard of the Delta variant. As new information comes out and new peer-reviewed studies reveal better ways to tackle the virus, health organizations are keeping a close eye on the Delta variant and the ways it might inhibit moving forward

What Is the Delta Variant?

The Delta variant is a mutation of COVID-19. This particular mutation was first observed last year but has since continued to spread and wreak havoc on efforts to control the novel coronavirus. The Delta variant is not the only mutation to come from the original novel coronavirus seen in late 2019. An Alpha variant emerged, as did a Beta and other variants. 

Delta has made headlines and remains a persistent source of concern because it is the mutation that has continued to surface and keep the virus circulating widely, even among vaccinated populations. 

Increased Transmission

The most significant concern related to the Delta variant of COVID-19 is its ability to transmit at a far greater rate than the original virus. This mutation has an estimated transmission rate rivaling that of chickenpox. With such a high transmission rate, authorities are concerned. Although vaccination continues to offer some protection from the virus, the Delta variant has been observed in vaccinated individuals and populations

Is the Variant More Virulent?

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other overseeing organizations have not determined whether or not the Delta variant is more virulent. Studies have shown that the Delta variant is certainly more easily transmitted. Easy transmission does not necessarily translate to being more dangerous or capable of delivering more severe disease. Determining if you have antibodies through testing can help relieve some concerns regarding the transmission of the virus. 

Antibody Testing and Spread

Antibody testing can be a useful way to limit the spread of COVID-19 and measure outcomes. Antibodies are developed following either infection or vaccination. Measuring antibodies allows governing bodies and individuals to determine how likely it is that people and populations have mounted an immune response to the virus. 

The Advantage of Antibodies

Antibodies offer several advantages to people who have been infected or vaccinated. The presence of antibodies is valuable because it demonstrates that the body has developed an immune response to the virus. All COVID-19 vaccines can elicit this response.

The Pfizer, J&J, and Moderna vaccines are all designed to develop antibodies. People who have been previously infected with SARS COV-2 can also have measurable antibodies. 

In both cases, it allows people and infectious disease experts to measure immune responses. Immune responses can determine how likely the body is to remain immune to or less severely harmed by the virus. People who have been infected with the Delta or other coronavirus variants should demonstrate the presence of antibodies. 

Antibody Testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN

Rapid Care offers antibody testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN. These tests effectively measure your immune system’s response to COVID-19, even if you have not tested positive in the past. Fully vaccinated people can also get antibody testing done to measure how effectively their body has mounted an immune response. COVID-19 tests can be useful for work, travel, and general personal preference.

Getting Tested Amidst the Delta Variant

The Delta variant has hit the United States and other countries around the world hard. Hospitalizations and deaths resulting from the novel coronavirus remain a significant threat to public health. Because the Delta variant spreads faster, the CDC recommends that all people in areas of high transmission begin wearing a mask indoors to ward off further risk of infection. Schedule an appointment with our team today!

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COVID-19 and Travel: When to Get a COVID PCR Test

covid-19 and travel: covid PCR test

Although many areas have opened up their COVID-19 restrictions, many others continue to have substantial requirements in place. Before traveling, it can be wise to evaluate your individual travel plans, location, and requirements. To determine which of the available COVID-19 tests you should utilize, consider the following travel recommendations. 

Current COVID-19 Travel Recommendations

There are three tests currently being used for COVID-19 testing: PCR, antigen, and antibody tests. Before utilizing one of these tests, you must evaluate your travel plans and the restrictions that correspond to the area to which you are traveling

State Recommendations

Within the United States, restrictions vary from state to state. Some states, like Tennessee, are largely open (though some counties might continue to have different restrictions and mandates). Others, like California, continue to experience a seesaw-like series of recommendations and requirements that are alternatively lifted and reinstated. Before leaving the state, be sure to check with the state to which you are heading and any states you are passing through to determine what precautions and requirements you are required to take. 

Federal Recommendations

Within the United States, travel is largely encouraged, provided that appropriate measures are taken. As per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), travelers are still encouraged to wash their hands frequently and socially distance whenever possible or appropriate. Masks may still be encouraged in crowded or enclosed areas. 

International Suggestions

Like state-to-state travel, international travel is largely subjective. Some areas are welcoming visitors with proof of a negative coronavirus test, such as Brazil. Others are refusing outside visitors, such as the U.K. Still others are allowing travel with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, with exemptions for the fully vaccinated, including Ecuador. 

COVID-19 Tests and Travel

Vaccination efforts are well underway in most areas, but COVID travel testing is a more common requirement than full vaccination. Travel restrictions are concerned primarily about continuing to limit the spread, and a negative COVID-19 test result from a trusted testing site is all that is required to travel to many areas. 

Are Antibody or PCR Tests Best for Traveling?

Antibody tests can be useful for getting back to work or going to events, but the type of test most commonly required or encouraged for travel is RT-PCR testing. This viral test evaluates the presence (or lack) of an active COVID-19 infection, rather than indicating recovery from COVID-19. 

This is the standard test to fly internationally or from state to state

When to Get a PCR Test

PCR tests may be required for far more than traveling. PCR tests are currently the gold standard for COVID-19 testing overall, and the gold standard for travel. Even if you have the COVID-19 vaccine, some areas will require testing to determine that you do not test positive for the virus. 

It is also wise to get a PCR test when you are interested in attending an event, working in the healthcare field, or when you have symptoms of a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. PCR tests can come back in less than 72 hours. Our office provides rapid PCR testing that produces results within one hour. PCR tests do not require a great deal of money or time to receive. 

PCR Testing in Memphis and Germantown

Whether your travel plans involve entry requirements, or you simply want to have the option of traveling from one place to another, PCR testing is a valuable asset. Rapid Care, an urgent care facility, offers PCR testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN

Get your test today, and go somewhere new tomorrow.

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Should I Get a Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Test?

Should I Get a Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Test?

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, testing was at the forefront of the minds of health care workers and governments alike. While testing may seem straightforward, many different tests, including PCR tests and antibody tests, can be used to determine whether COVID-19 is or has been present.

What exactly is antibody testing? 

Antibody Testing: The Basics

Antibody tests are used to determine the likelihood of having had the COVID-19 virus previously. Unlike standard tests, which measure the presence of an active or current infection, these diagnostic tests are instead used to identify a past infection. To fully understand the process of these COVID-19 tests, you must first have a basic understanding of antibodies and the role they have played in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What Are Antibodies?

You may be most familiar with the word “antibody” when it is used in conjunction with “antibiotics.” However, antibodies are actually agents deployed by the body to target disease and illness brought about by foreign invaders. Antibodies are small proteins used to identify invaders. 

Antibodies are sent to attach to the virus, bacteria, or entity in question (a virus, for instance), which allows the body to complete a process called phagocytosis, or the destruction of a harmful or (perceived) foreign entity. 

What Do Antibody Tests Measure?

Antibody tests measure the presence of antibodies in your blood. When you have been infected by a virus, bacteria, or another harmful entity, your body produces antibodies specific to that entity. If you have antibodies in your blood, test results can determine the type of infection present in the body–including a COVID-19 infection. Rapid tests may be necessary or useful for specific tasks and situations. 

3 Reasons to Get a Rapid Antibody Test

It may seem pertinent to focus entirely on current infections, but there are many reasons to seek out an antibody test in the wake of COVID-19. Work requirements, community requirements, and coronavirus contact can all necessitate a rapid antibody test. 

Work Requirements

Your workplace may request that you show you are not currently infected with COVID-19 or that you have been infected with the virus in the past. Some workplaces suggest antibody tests following a COVID-19 exposure, while others might request these tests following your own infection. Antibody tests can be useful to help you get back to work more quickly or to put your coworkers’ or supervisors’ minds at ease. 

Community Requirements

The exact requirements for gathering and hosting events vary from city to city, county to county, and state to state. Antibody testing can be a useful way to make sure you can attend a specific event or engage in a particular pastime. 

Private concert venues, restaurants, and more might encourage you to demonstrate that you are not currently infected with the virus or that you have successfully recovered from the virus in the past

Coronavirus Contact

Antibody testing can also be useful if you have recently come into contact with COVID-19. Antibody tests can give you some peace of mind following contact with the virus. A positive test can let you know that you have already successfully recovered from the virus, while a negative test can tell you that the virus has not been present in your body. Antibody tests can also be useful in that they can demonstrate to others that you have an immune response already in place, should you come into contact with the virus inadvertently. 

Why to Get a Rapid COVID-19 Test

From work to community events, there are plenty of reasons to seek out a 15-minute rapid antibody test. Rapid tests allow you to receive your results in less than 24 hours after visiting the testing site and can give you (and your boss or event coordinator) more peace of mind as you go about getting back to work and engaging with your community.

If you need a rapid antibody test in Memphis or Germantown, schedule your appointment today!

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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.