COVID-19 Testing Options: 

 

Testing is one of the pillars of our nation’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic and our Emergency Authorized Use (EAU) diagnostic testing options are focused on high accuracy, ease of administration and rapid detection.

Saliva/Sputum Test

Primary Difference

Easier to perform, self-administered test which does not require direct interaction with a clinician.

How does it work?

This test uses a technology called PCR (polyamersae chain reaction), which analyzes genetic material for detection of COVID-19. This material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

This test entails spitting several times into a tube or saturation of an oral swab to the required amount of sputum/saliva needed for collection. This test is self-administered and does not require the direct interaction of a clinician. The timing of collection will vary on the ability of each patient to generate enough “spit”. Test results are typically available within 24-72 hours of collecting the test sample.

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

 

Nasopharyngeal and/or Lower Nostril Swab Test

Primary Difference

This test can detect early onset infection with very high accuracy.

How does it work?

This test uses a technology called PCR (polyamerase chain reaction), which analyzes genetic material for detection of COVID-19. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected.

Sample needed

These tests are administered to either the upper or lower nostrils. It takes only a few seconds and may be mildly uncomfortable. Test results are typically available within 24-72 hours of collecting the test sample.

 

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

 

Antibody (Blood) Test

Primary Difference

Antibodies can be found in the blood of people and can indicate if a person has had an immune response to the infection.

How does it work?

An antibody test is a blood test that looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.

Sample needed

This test requires a blood sample. Test results are usually available within 10 to 15 minutes.

When should I get it?

You should take this test only if you do not have symptoms.

 

Antigen Test

Primary Difference

This test an detect early onset infection with high accuracy.

How does it work?

A PCR swab sample is mixed with an antigen test strip. The SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens bind to anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein antibodies conjugated to indicator and capture particles in the test strip forming an immune complex. The immune complex is then captured by the test line on the nitrocellulose membrane as it migrates through the strip to detect early onset infection.

Sample needed

These tests are administered to the upper or lower nostrils. It takes only a few seconds and may be mildly uncomfortable. Test results are available within 10-15 minutes of collecting test sample.

When should I get it?

You can take this test whether you have symptoms or not.

Licensed Healthcare Providers: Our licensed healthcare providers are onsite dressed in full protective gear (suit, mask and gloves) while performing the test.