Types of COVID-19 Testing, Explained
ANTIGEN (Rapid Test)
An antigen test, also referred to as a rapid test, detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus through a nasal swab. Test results are returned much quicker within 15 minutes. The test we use has 88% sensitivity and 100% specificity.
DIAGNOSTIC (PCR Test)
A diagnostic test is exactly that – a test used to diagnose active coronavirus infections. The PCR test is the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19. It detects the virus’ genetic material through a nasal swab. The collected sample is sent to a lab for results.
An antibody test is a serology test that looks for antibodies that are made by the immune system in response to the virus. Antibody tests are used to find out if an individual has already had the virus. It is not to be used to diagnose an active infection. This test uses a blood sample for signs of a prior viral infection.