ABOUT OUR COVID-19 TESTING
Two types of tests are available for COVID-19:
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.
- 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
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.
- 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)
Our COVID-19 testing program is run and handled by our emergency department physicians. Each patient’s symptoms and results will be reviewed by one of our emergency physicians during the time of testing to determine if any treatment and/or additional interventions are necessary. Please note that in order to minimize exposure to other patients and staff our goal is to perform all testing and consultation without the need to leave your vehicle. We feel that this process minimizes the potential exposure and transmission of this highly contagious virus. It is our policy not to charge patients for COVID testing regardless of deductibles and co-pays and you will not receive a bill for any of these services.