Over the course of the past year testing for COVID-19 has improved drastically. Tests have increased in availability and efficiency. The FDA has been working diligently to increase the availability of these critical tests. Diagnostic and antibody tests are the two main types of COVID-19 tests available. There are variations within these categories. There are also alternative methods of testing for COVID-19 that are more convenient and safe for healthcare personnel.
What is a COVID-19 Diagnostic Test?
A diagnostic test is performed to determine whether or not the patient has an active COVID-19 infection. This test will determine if the patient needs to quarantine immediately. There are two types of diagnostic tests: molecular tests and antigen tests.
What is a COVID-19 Antibody Test?
Antibody tests measure the number of antibodies in the blood after a specific threat, such as COVID-19. Antibodies are created by the body’s immune system to fight off infection. At this time researchers are not certain what effect that antibodies will have in protecting one against COVID-19 in the future. Antibody tests are not used to diagnose COVID-19.
Alternative Tests For COVID-19 Available
There are several alternative diagnostic tests available, each with its own specific benefits.
This test allows for the patient to spit into a tube rather than the conventional throat or nose swab. Collecting the saliva specimen is often more comfortable for the patient, as well as safer for the healthcare personnel due to the distance during the collection.
Using either variation of diagnostic testing this form of testing has a turnaround time of only minutes. Mucus is swabbed from the nose or throat and results are determined inside the doctors office.
Because COVID-19 shares many symptoms with influenza, a combination test is able to test for both of these illnesses. Some combination tests can even search for various respiratory infections at once.
At Home Collection
These tests allow the patient to collect their specimen at home and send it to the lab. This is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Visit Your Local Urgent Care Center and Get Tested For COVID-19
Your local urgent care office will be able to administer whichever form of the COVID-19 test that is best for you. Call or visit them online today. For more information about the types of COVID tests available, visit the FDA website, and check back regularly for updates.