What Kind Of COVID-19 Test Should You Get? A Rapid Test or A Molecular Test?

January 7, 2022

What Kind Of COVID-19 Test Should You Get? A Rapid Test or A PCR Test? AFC Urgent Care Danbury Goes Over The Differences.


New year, new you? I wouldn't celebrate just yet. COVID-19 is still around and there has been an uptick in cases over the past two months. You’re probably wondering if that Christmas gathering or New Year party you went to last week warrants a COVID-19 test or two. 

The answer is YES! But, with so many testing options out there, knowing what to get and when can be confusing, especially when there is a shortage of testing centers. You may have heard of the PCR test or a Rapid test, but there are different kinds. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to help clear up the confusion.

AFC Urgent Care Danbury Offers PCR Molecular COVID-19 Tests

Is a PCR test better than a Rapid test? What’s the difference? 


PCR tests are considered the “gold standard” of testing. It is one of the most common tests used everyday in the state of Connecticut. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. It’s performed via nasal swab and often sent to a lab for testing against COVID-19 variants like the Omicron, Delta, etc.


“PCR testing” is a type of molecular test that is more specific and sensitive when determining if someone is positive or not. This type of test converts any virus RNA into DNA while amplifying it into millions of copies so that molecular testing can easily detect even the slightest bit of viral RNA in your sample. 


A PCR test may take 48 to 72 hours to get a result back, but the results are very accurate in comparison to an at home rapid test or rapid antigen test. 


AFC Urgent Care Danbury offers PCR/NAAT Molecular COVID-19 tests with results in 2-3 days via a patient portal by email. We also offer a Rapid version of the PCR test that can produce results in less than 20 minutes. 


Both options are offered 7 days a week. Wait times may vary due to the increase in cases and demands for testing. 

What about Rapid Antigen Tests That You Can Get Results Within Minutes?

If you’re looking for a quick result in minutes, the Rapid Antigen test is an option that you can find in Connecticut. Although we don’t offer this option because of sensitivity issues and false negatives, many people turn to this option because it’s cheaper, quicker and can also be done at home.


I’m sure many of you realized this when you didn’t plan in advance for your holiday gatherings over Christmas break. Before you plan your COVID-19 test when returning to work, make sure you read what type of test a testing site is offering. 


We mentioned that antigen testing can often produce false negatives. Even the at-home rapid antigen tests could produce a false negative too. Antigen testing only tests against the live proteins found in a viral sample. The reason for false negatives is that there could be a low viral load making it harder to detect if someone is positive. Rapid antigen testing should only be considered when performed in a series of multiple tests in a span of a few days to ensure a negative or positive test. 


Whereas a PCR test can detect even the smallest viral sample making it the most accurate and reliable test. Unlike PCR and Rapid Molecular Test, Antigen testing is not widely accepted as a test to go back to work, to fly, to go to a venue, or to attend an event. 


We highly suggest you plan accordingly as we anticipate an increase in COVID-19 cases after the holidays


Get A Reliable Molecular PCR COVID-19 Test At AFC Urgent Care Danbury

Know your results from a brand you can trust. We keep our facility clean, and our staff is fully equipped with PPE to help treat you for your urgent care medical needs. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, our centers are open seven days a week for your testing needs. 


Again we offer:


The CDC guidelines have recently been updated to shorten the quarantine and isolation time for people who test positive in the U.S. 


Isolation time has been reduced from 10 days to 5 days. It is required to wear a mask for another 5 days as an extra precaution. For more information and guidance, click here.

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Call (203) 826-2140 for more information about our Danbury urgent care services.

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