The global spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in the rapid development of multiple forms of testing. Individuals who suspect they may have been infected or wish to confirm that they are healthy now have a variety of options to choose from. The three major tests which are currently available in the U.S. are molecular, antigen, and antibody tests. Knowing the difference between these three and using them appropriately is an excellent form of defense against the spread of the virus.
Each of the aforementioned tests is now available by appointment at Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach. Continue reading to learn the difference between them and find out which test is best for you.
How to Select the Best COVID-19 Testing in Laguna Beach, CA
- Molecular testing
Diagnostic molecular testing or, “PCR testing” uses a swab to detect genetic material that indicates whether or not the individual is currently affected by COVID-19. This can be done by taking a swab from the nose, throat, or inside the mouth, however, nasal swabs tend to produce the most accurate results. It can take anywhere from a few hours to three days before results are available, but molecular tests have the highest rate of accuracy when testing for current infection. All COVID-19 tests are fairly inexpensive, costing up to $10. At Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach, we accept most major health insurance, which typically covers the total cost of the test.
- Antigen testing
Antigen COVID-19 tests are often referred to as “rapid COVID-19 tests,” as they can produce results in as little as a few minutes. These tests are done by collecting a swab from the individual’s nose or throat, which is then analyzed for COVID-19 protein fragments. This test is significantly less accurate than molecular tests, however, they can be useful for those who are already showing signs of the virus.
- Antibody testing
Antibody testing is used to indicate whether or not an individual has already had COVID-19 and recovered from the virus. This is done by collecting a blood sample, which is then analyzed for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for COVID-19. Results may be gathered within a few days, but there is a strong chance of false negatives if testing is done before the immune system can develop antibodies.
At Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach, we conduct all testing outside of our facility so that patients can safely remain in their vehicles. Schedule your COVID-19 test in Laguna Beach, CA today!