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Understanding the Protocols for COVID-19 Testing in Memphis & Germantown, TN

Protocols for COVID-19 Testing in Memphis & Germantown, TN

Patients have so many questions about COVID-19 tests. They want to know the accuracy and factors affecting the sensitivity and accuracy of test results. Given the role COVID-19 testing plays in helping to control the spread of the virus, more attention is drawn to the reliability of these tests and standard protocols that determine the accuracy of COVID-19 lab test results. 

If you have questions about the accuracy and reliability of these tests, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, you will learn about the quality of specimens, instruments, and chemical reagents used for conducting the test. At Rapid Care, we’re committed to providing you with the latest information so you can make informed decisions that meet your needs.

Facts You Should Know About COVID-19 Tests

COVID-19 testing plays a critical role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Hence, following appropriate testing guidelines is key to having accurate diagnostic test results.

For COVID-19 testing, nasopharyngeal swabs are the preferred clinical specimen for sample collection for COVID-19 tests. This is because they demonstrate a significantly higher positivity rate and significantly higher mean viral load on nasal samples than oropharyngeal swab samples. 

Samples collected through this route have a lower chance of false or inconclusive results. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sterile swabs should be used for sample collection to preserve specimen integrity and to assure patient safety as well. 

Standard protocol for COVID-19 testing requires samples to be collected via the nasopharyngeal route as recommended by the CDC. Additionally, swabs containing materials that can inactivate some viruses shouldn’t be used because these can inhibit molecular tests and result in inconclusive results.

Hence, swabs with wooden shafts and swabs containing calcium alginate should not be used for COVID-19 testing. Only synthetic fiber swabs with thin plastics or wire swabs that have been specifically designed for collecting samples from the nasopharyngeal mucosa are recommended by the CDC. 

Standard Requirements for COVID-19 Testing Sites in Memphis & Germantown, TN

All COVID-19 testing sites must meet certain minimum standards set out by the government and regulatory authorities. Some of these standards include evidence of implementation of a quality management system that demonstrates their ability to produce accurate laboratory test results.

Additionally, COVID-19 testing sites should make provisions for safety. They should also put processes in place for infection prevention and control precautions when collecting samples for COVID-19 tests and while performing diagnostic testing. 

Furthermore, testing procedures must comply with standard procedures designed by regulatory authorities such as the CDC. At Rapid Care, our test performance follows the highest standards for accurate results. 

We offer different kinds of COVID-19 tests, such as the Dual Flu and COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, COVID-19 Rapid Antibody (IgG/IgM) Test, and COVID-19 RT-PCR Test for business, travel, holidays, and vacations. By following the standards and protocol laid out above, you can feel confident in the accuracy of your results.

At Rapid Care Testing, we follow the latest standard guidelines for COVID-19 testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN, and we make the testing experience hassle-free. Schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 testing, and we will be happy to receive you!

 

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Want to Travel? Check Out What That Means for COVID-19

Want to Travel? Check Out What That Means for COVID-19

It is needless to say traveling has been hit hard in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On a daily basis, uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions continue to grow amid rising new COVID-19 variants

Thankfully, the pandemic does not totally restrict you from traveling and getting back to business or your loved ones as long as you understand the various travel testing requirements. Read on to discover what you need to know about COVID-19 travel and testing requirements.

Overview of the Various Types of Tests

Different types of COVID-19 tests exist. The aim of these tests is to detect the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. Proper interpretation of test results is also important to help you keep yourself and your family safe. 

A negative test result means you do not have COVID-19 at the time of the test, so it is not a license for you to stop staying safe. But if you test positive, then you need to self-isolate even if you do not show symptoms. Check out these various types of COVID-19 tests and what they mean for travel.

Antigen Test

The rapid antigen test detects antigens that are found within or on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The test is fast and can be used as a home-based rapid test kit. Because COVID-19 testing requirements change regularly, it is essential to determine if just the rapid test is acceptable in various airlines and destination countries.

PCR Test

The PCR test is usually considered the gold standard for COVID-19 tests due to its ability to detect the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through a nasal swab. It is highly accurate and provides efficient results. Most airlines and destination countries require proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19, although requirements may vary.

Dual Flu & COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

COVID-19 infection has overlapping symptoms with flu-related infections, so it can be difficult to detect unless with standard diagnostic testing. Thankfully, a new addition to the diagnostic testing kits is the dual flu & COVID-19 rapid antigen test which is capable of detecting both the virus causing COVID-19 and the influenza virus strains A and B. Fortunately, we conduct this test at Rapid Care.

Understanding COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Travel

Times have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, so there are a few things you should know if you’re considering traveling during these uncertain times. Remember, traveling requirements evolve from time to time so you need to keep yourself updated. Understanding the testing requirements in your destination country is key. 

Additionally, these testing requirements vary from state to state and country to country. They constantly get updated so you need to familiarize yourself with them. Thankfully, at Rapid Care, we prepare you for the various types of tests that you may need for travel and work so you can proceed with peace of mind. 

A growing number of agencies and the government are handing out free COVID-19 tests. Although these tests are based on good practice guidelines, they CANNOT be used for travel, work, and school. At Rapid Care, our tests follow standard procedures, and you will receive your result that same day for travel, work, and return-to-school tests. 

There are no hidden costs with our tests as seen with travel tests at CVS or Walgreens that can charge you $150 – $300 unexpectedly. Also, we value your time, so we do everything to keep you safe during your test. You don’t even have to stay around sick people, unlike many other testing sites.

We follow the best performance standards at Rapid Care that will provide you with fast and efficient testing results within the same day. Schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN.

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Is It COVID or Flu? Check Out a New COVID-19 Test

Is it COVID or Flu? Check out a New Test for That

Many people who get COVID-19 develop symptoms that are similar to those of a cold or flu. Since we’re in the middle of the flu season, it is easy to get on a different level of anxiety. 

Fortunately, stuffy nose and scratchy throat shouldn’t be anything to get alarmed about given advances in improved COVID-19 testing with the dual flu and COVID-19 rapid antigen test. 

Read on to learn more about how to know the difference between these two and how the dual flu and COVID-19 rapid antigen test brings diagnosis to a whole different level.

Knowing The Difference Between COVID-19 & Flu

There is a lot of overlap between flu and COVID-19 symptoms. So knowing the difference accurately can be tricky. For instance, common symptoms of both infections are cough, muscle aches, sneezing, sore throat, running nose, stuffy nose, and more. 

However, the degree to which each of these symptoms is manifested varies for both infections. For instance, a new loss of sense of taste or smell is usually experienced without a runny or stuffy nose as an early symptom of COVID-19. On the other hand, loss of sense of taste or smell rarely manifests during flu infection. 

It is difficult to accurately diagnose the differences between the flu and cold just by empirically examining symptoms alone. We cannot also measure the degree of occurrence of a symptom by mere observation too. Testing is needed to accurately diagnose COVID-19 or flu.

How The Dual Flu & COVID Test Works

Understandably flu is a seasonal infection that affects people around fall or winter times. But we now live in unusual times since the beginning of the pandemic. It is important to accurately differentiate between infection with COVID-19 or flu. 

Fortunately, the rapid flu and COVID-19 combination test kit is now available for diagnosing infection with either flu or COVID-19 in a single testing session. The dual test is able to detect the presence of either of these two viruses in many individuals, including children over the age of two years, and test results are usually ready in as little as 30 minutes. 

The testing kit uses a nasal swab that is inserted into the lower nostril and is capable of detecting and differentiating certain proteins on the surface of SARS-COV-2 and protein antigens of influenza virus A and influenza B in the human nasopharynx. 

Diagnosis of flu or COVID-19 using the dual test is not just accurate; it is also qualitative because results are seen as color bands that indicate the presence of a specific antigen that is unique to each of the different pathogens. Test results are usually ready within just 30 minutes.

Why Do We Need A Combination Test Now?

It is not unusual for most people to underestimate discomforting symptoms like the common cold, fever, and many other COVID-19 and flu-related symptoms. So when they experience these symptoms, they try to manage it on their own without diagnosis or just based on the notion that flu always runs its course and subsides after a while. 

But times are different now since the beginning of the pandemic. Accurately diagnosing whether the infection is flu or COVID-19 is key to preventing complications and to keeping yourself and others safe too. The good news is that the combination test is fast, safe and you can get your result in as little as 30 minutes.

At Rapid Care Testing, we make health care accessible to everyone by providing highly accurate and rapid COVID-19 testing that follows the best performance standards. Schedule an appointment today for dual flu and COVID-19 testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN. It takes just 30 minutes!

 

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Do’s and Don’ts of COVID-19 Testing

Do's and Don'ts of COVID-19 Testing

As new variants continue to emerge, Information about COVID-19 keeps getting updated on a daily basis. So it is easy to get confused about what steps you should take regarding testing and keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during these trying times

As a matter of fact, there are COVID-19 testing myths that you should not believe. 

In this guide, we will show you what you need to know about COVID-19 testing.

Do’s

Whether you’re vaccinated or not, here are a few things you should know before or after COVID-19 testing.

Isolate if You Test Positive for COVID-19

Regardless of your vaccination status, if you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself for at least five days till you recover. Your vaccination status doesn’t stop you from adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

But if you test negative with a rapid antigen home test, it doesn’t mean you do not have COVID-19, so you should schedule a PCR test with a standard COVID-19 testing site

Commit Yourself to Keep Your Immune System Strong

Keeping your immune system at its best is one of the ways of combating the coronavirus infection. This is also regardless of your vaccination status and even if you’ve received a booster dose. 

Boosting your immune system doesn’t necessarily begin with taking immune booster supplements. You can start committing to boosting your immune system by keeping stress levels low and keeping yourself hydrated. 

Commit to Staying Safe Always

Family events, holidays, and fun times with friends matter a lot, no doubt. However, if you’re not feeling well, you should stay home to keep yourself and others safe. If you have a fever and related symptoms, continue to self-isolate till you’re fully well.

Don’ts

Staying safe during these trying times also means debunking some COVID-19 testing myths. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do before or after your test.

Don’t Let A Negative Test Stop You from Taking Precautions

A negative COVID-19 test only proves that COVID-19 was not detected at the time of the test. This is because COVID-19 tests are only snapshots in time, so regardless of your test results, you should still commit to staying safe and taking precautions. 

Continue to practice social distancing, wear face masks, regularly use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and remember to wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible.

Don’t Believe That You Shouldn’t Get Tested Because You’re Fully Vaccinated

If you have symptoms, you should get tested regardless of your vaccination status. Similarly, if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should also get tested whether you show symptoms or not. Moreover, you should isolate yourself while awaiting your test results. 

Don’t Stop Watching Out for Symptoms Following a Test

Staying conscious of COVID-19-related symptoms is a continuous effort during these trying times. Watch out for symptoms that are flu-like in nature. Typical examples include cough, chills, shortness of breath, and loss of perception of smell and taste. 

Regularly stay conscious of these symptoms while committing to staying safe by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and boosting your immune system.

At Rapid Care Testing, our test performance follows the highest standards. Schedule a convenient same-day COVID-19 testing in Memphis and Germantown, TN.

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COVID-19 Testing Myths You Should Never Believe

COVID-19 Testing Myths You Should Never Believe

COVID-19 variants and case numbers are rising. Similarly, a lot of information is circulating concerning COVID-19 testing. Some are true. But some are just myths. 

Accurate information and COVID-19 testing are critical to combating the coronavirus. We’ve compiled the common misconceptions about COVID-19. 

It’s time to dispel these myths.

COVID-19 Tests Are Only Required If You Have Symptoms

Experts have recommended that one should get tested even if one does not show symptoms. Converging lines of evidence have shown that 1 out of 3 persons with COVID-19 do not show any noticeable symptoms. Hence, one could transmit the virus without even knowing. 

Hence, whether you have active symptoms of COVID-19 or not, you still need to get tested. Similarly, you do not have to wait till you come in close contact with an infected person before you get tested. Testing is an effective way to stay informed about your status and also protect yourself and others.

Too Much Testing Is Responsible For The Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Some individuals blame the persistent surge in COVID-19 cases on COVID-19 testing. But that’s not true. Experts have confirmed that COVID-19 tests do not cause more cases of COVID-19. This myth usually results from having lots of positive test results within a particular community. 

High positive test results within a community do not mean the tests are responsible for the cases, but the transmission rate is high in that community. Hence, testing is key to controlling the coronavirus because it allows experts to know the transmission rate within a community. As COVID-19 cases are increasing, testing is a safe way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

PCR Is A Better Method for COVID-19 Testing Than Antigen Tests

Currently, two major types of tests exist for detecting COVID-19. The first one is the polymerase chain reaction (commonly called the PCR test). The PCR test works by finding a small piece of the genetic material of the virus. 

The antigen test, on the other hand, identifies specific antigens or protein fragments of the virus. Both tests are effective in detecting COVID-19 depending on the use case. The antigen test, for instance, is no doubt faster and very accurate in detecting the virus in those who are already showing symptoms

But when a person is only recently infected, antigen tests may miss these early cases of infection, so PCR tests are preferable. However, a positive result from an antigen test due to active symptoms suggests the presence of the virus and is very reliable. 

This informs the person to start isolating and preventing the spread of the virus. A negative result, on the other hand, may suggest low levels of the virus if they’re present and should be confirmed with a PCR test.

You Do Not Have To Wear Masks and Take Precautions If You Test Negative For COVID-19

COVID-19 tests can be viewed as snapshots in time. That is, if you test negative, no virus was detected in your system at the time of the test. Possibly, the levels of virus in your system were too low to be detected. 

Similarly, it is possible to contract the infection shortly after taking the test if safety guidelines are not followed. Hence, a negative test and no history of a positive one does not guarantee immunity against the virus and is not a license to stop practicing safety precautions such as social distancing and wearing of facial masks.

COVID-19 Tests Are Highly Uncomfortable Because They Go Deep Into The Nose

During the earlier stages of the pandemic, testing for COVID-19 required swabs to be inserted deep to the point where your nose meets your pharynx. This was uncomfortable for many people. Now, experts have changed the testing criteria to just the middle part of the nasal passage and still get up to 82 – 88% accurate results.

Getting peace of mind and keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during this pandemic begins by knowing your status. At Rapid Care, we prioritize accuracy and effectiveness. Schedule a convenient same-day PCR testing in  Memphis and Germantown, TN.

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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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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.