What Are the Different Types of COVID-19 Tests?
Updated: Jan 31
Why is COVID-19 Testing Important?
One thing is for sure: every person can help the country combat the COVID-19 pandemic in their own way. Maintaining physical distance, washing our hands, wearing a mask, and avoiding large gatherings are just a few of the proven public health practices that can help us not only avoid becoming infected with COVID-19, but also prevent it from spreading to our loved ones. One way that will help is through quality COVID-19 testing.
The PCR test (molecular test), the antibody test, and the antigen test (rapid test) are the three primary types of COVID-19 diagnostic testing. In Utah and other states, clinics such as Advanced Testing Services offer all three testing services to a variety of clients. Here’s some basic information on each of these tests to help you determine which will be ideal for your needs.
COVID-19 Antibody Tests
Antibodies to SAS-Cov-2 can be identified in your blood by taking the COVID-19 antibody test in Salt Lake City or Odgen. Antibodies are proteins produced by your immune system to aid in the battle against infection and to keep you from being ill in the future. If they’re found in a COVID-19 antibody test, they’re a conclusive indicator that you’ve had some level of prior infection.
Note that the COVID-19 antibody test does not identify a current infection; instead, it indicates whether you have had a previous infection. It is less reliable than the PCR test because it is usually used in a rapid results format, but can still be very useful to those looking to determine whether they’ve had COVID-19 or not.
COVID-19 Antigen Test
For people who require quick results on their COVID test, the rapid COVID test is likely the best option. Commonly used for various events or settings where large groups congregate, rapid COVID tests are not as accurate as the PCR test we’ll go over below – but they still provide quality context to help identify active cases.
This test looks for Coronavirus-specific protein fragments. It can be done in a clinic, a doctor's office, or a hospital. The rapid covid test in Odgen or Salt Lake City typically has a very quick turnaround result time. Results can be obtained in as little as 15 minutes in some cases. If you have more time, however, the PCR test is more accurate.
In detecting SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 PCR testing is considered the "gold standard,” and is the most accurate form of COVID testing. This test looks for virus-specific RNA; it can detect the virus even if there are no symptoms within days of infection. The test can be performed in a clinic, a hospital, or even in your vehicle. The covid PCR test in Odgen or Salt Lake City has a lengthier turnaround time, typically 2-3 days. Still, the results can be obtained in as little as 24 hours.
Limiting the spread of COVID-19 requires accurate and speedy tests. Wear a face mask that fits securely over your nose, mouth, and chin to protect others around you, and avoid close contact with people until you receive the results of your COVID test.
Get in touch with us at Advanced Testing Services to learn more about COVID-19 testing and where our testing locations are found.