There are different types of COVID-19 testing depending on the intention of the test, circumstances of the patient, and availability of resources. Tests can detect either a current or a past COVID-19 infection.
A viral test determines whether or not a patient has a current COVID-19 infection. There are two different viral tests that can be performed: a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test. These tests are performed with a swab, similar to the method used to test for the flu.
An antibody test, or serology test, may reveal whether or not a patient has had a COVID infection in the past. In many patients the body produces antibodies against the virus that will prevent reinfection.
Who Should Get Tested?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested for infection. This includes those who have had the virus previously, as well as those who are vaccinated. Common COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Persistent, Dry Cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Fever, Chills
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Muscle Fatigue, Body Aches
- Loss of Smell, Taste
The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing situation and new symptoms are reported and updated accordingly.
The CDC recommends that anyone who has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 should also be tested. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes within a 24 hour period. This is not necessary for those who have already been vaccinated, or those who have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months.
COVID-19 testing is also recommended for those who have traveled, attended mass gatherings, and other high-risk situations where social distancing was not possible.
How Do I Get Tested?
Contact your primary physician, local health department, or nearby Urgent Care Center about COVID-19 testing. A doctor can assess your symptoms and determine whether COVID-19 testing is needed. If you are unable to get to an office your physician may order a test that you can complete at home.
Urgent Care Centers Provide COVID-19 Testing
Urgent Care Centers provide patients with the option of COVID-19 rapid testing. This test provides patients with positive or negative results in as little as 15 minutes. This affordable and time-savvy option is important so that adults can get back to work and children can return to school after COVID-19 exposure. Contact your local Urgent Care today about COVID-19 testing and the many other services provided.