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.
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 10 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.
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.
There are two molecular tests, the RT-LAMP and RT-PCR tests. Both are diagnostic tests for active infections. These tests are highly accurate and are used for traveling. A sample is collected through a nasal or throat swab.
RT-LAMP test results are available in approximately 24 hours. RT-PCR results may take up to 72 hours.
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 in 24-72 hours.
If you need a COVID-19 test for traveling, laboratory documentation will be provided to show your 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.