About Our COVID-19 Testing

Two types of tests are available for COVID-19: 

ANTIBODY TEST

This test is performed by taking a small amount of blood. Results are available quickly.

Antibody tests detect if you have previously been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and your body has already developed antibodies to fight the infection.

Quick Facts:

  • Rapid results – often in less than 15 minutes
  • The results are reliable (sensitivities and specificities above 90%)
  • A positive result means your body has already been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies
  • A negative result means your body has not developed antibodies to fight the infection
  • This test cannot tell you if you currently have an active infection
 

VIRAL TEST

This test is performed by placing a cotton swab into the nose. Results are dependent on lab turnaround which can take a few days.
 
This test involves obtaining an upper respiratory specimen. According to the CDC, the following locations are acceptable to obtain samples for the COVID-19 viral test:
 
  • From the nose (nasal) A swab is inserted inside the nostril. Collection of nasal swabs is technically less complex, so it can reduce the spread of infection to healthcare providers.
  • From the back of the nose (nasopharyngeal) The specimen is collected using a long nasal swab that is inserted into the passageway between the nose and the back of the throat.
 
The type of test we perform on patients is currently based on availability of tests in the area. In general these test results offer comparable sensitivity. In our experience with performing several thousand viral tests, we have seen little difference in the sensitivity of the results between these tests.
 
Quick Facts:
 
  • Results take from 2 to 4 days
  • The tests are not as specific as the antibody test (a negative test does not tell you for sure that you do not have the virus)
  • The test is highly sensitive (a positive result is very reliable that you have the virus)

References:

COVID-19 Risk Screening

If you would like to get tested for COVID-19, complete our quick screener based on public health guildelines. Based on the responses you will learn whether you qualify for testing through this program. 

Important: If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please visit the ER immediately.