COVID-19 Testing Clinic Questions and Answers
Urgent Care & Wellness Center is proud to provide COVID-19 testing to patients from Lutz FL, New Port Richey, FL and the surrounding areas. If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, we would be happy to answer those questions as accurately and thoroughly as we can! For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We accept walk-ins.
Table of Contents:
What is a COVID-19 PCR test?
What is a COVID-19 Rapid Testing?
Are PCR tests and antigen tests the same for COVID-19?
COVID-19 has been with us for a long time, but thankfully, light is finally starting to appear at the end of the tunnel. However, since we are not out of the woods yet, it remains essential to be safe and responsible until that time, and part of doing that is getting tested for COVID-19 whenever you experience symptoms of the virus or have been in recent contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. At Urgent Care & Wellness Center, our board-certified physicians are happy to provide our valued patients with COVID-19 testing and answer any questions about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that they have!
A COVID-19 PCR test is a type of nucleic acid test that is referred to as a polymerase chain reaction test. This type of test involves taking a swab from the back of your nose to obtain a sample of mucus and analyzing that sample for genetic material called ribonucleic acid (RNA) from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
After the swab is taken, the sample is sent to a laboratory where it is analyzed by heating and cooling it to convert the virus’s RNA to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and making millions of copies of that DNA so that the organism can be properly identified. While this process takes hours and is conducted one sample at a time, it is a highly accurate way of detecting viruses, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
With that in mind, COVID-19 PCR tests are helpful for detecting if a person is actively infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Depending on the volume of tests that the laboratory is analyzing, it can take up to three business days before results are returned to the patient.
COVID-19 rapid testing has similarities to the COVID-19 PCR test, as both tests take swabs from the back of the nose to obtain a mucus sample. Whereas PCR tests look for the virus’s RNA, COVID-19 rapid tests look for proteins located on the surface of the virus that are produced by the virus’s RNA.
With COVID-19 rapid testing, also known as antigen testing, the mucus or saliva sample is mixed with a solution that releases the RNA-produced proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This mixture is then applied to a testing strip containing an antibody that will bind to the proteins if the SARS-CoV-2 virus is present, in which case a visible chemical reaction will occur on the test strip.
COVID-19 rapid tests do not need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis, and results for such tests can be returned to the patient within 10 to 15 minutes of the test.
While there are several similarities between PCR tests and antigen tests, they are not the same for COVID-19. Both tests are able to diagnose active cases of COVID-19 and do so by taking swabs from the back of a patient’s nose. However, they look for different things, have different degrees of accuracy, and take different lengths of time to return results to patients. With that said, antigen tests are able to produce results to patients in a much shorter amount of time than PCR tests but are not as accurate as PCR tests.
If you require information about COVID-19 testing or would like to schedule a COVID-19 testing appointment with us at Urgent Care & Wellness Center in Lutz, FL, we would be pleased to hear from you! We welcome you to do so by calling us or scheduling an appointment through our website. We serve patients from Lutz FL, New Port Richey FL, Land O’ Lakes FL, Cheval FL, Greater Northdale FL, Greater Carrollwood FL, River Ridge FL, Seven Springs FL, Port Richey FL, Bayonet Point FL, Hudson FL, and Elfers FL.
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