Getting a Rapid COVID-19 Test after the holidays? Which one should you get?
Not all Rapid tests are the same. You may have heard of a Rapid PCR test and the Rapid Antigen test. Some of you may also have seen or bought an “at-home” rapid test as well. Using the right COVID test will help provide you with the “proof of test” needed to return to your normal routines.
AFC Urgent Care Dedham will help explain the differences among all COVID 19 Rapid Tests and their reliability and accuracy for detecting COVID-19.
Raid PCR Tests Are The Best Of Both Worlds
A “proof of test” usually means getting a molecular test like a PCR test. A molecular test is more specific and sensitive when detecting the viral infection from COVID-19. It converts RNA into DNA making it easier to make copies of the genetic material to test against it. That being said, although PCR tests are considered the “gold standard” of testing because they’re reliable and the most accurate test available, they can take a few days to see results.
In 2021, a rapid version of the PCR test came to the market making it the best of both worlds for accuracy and quickness of results on the same day.
But, what about other rapid testing options, are they any good?
Rapid Antigen Tests And At-home Rapid Tests
You may have heard of Antigen tests or at-home testing kits by now. As testing sites had long lines over the holidays, you probably thought of just doing it yourself at home instead. Truth is, these rapid Antigen tests are not the same as Rapid Molecular tests when it comes to accuracy and reliability.
For starters, the testing method is completely different. Antigen tests are not molecular tests so they’re not as specific or as sensitive as PCR or Rapid Molecular tests. Rapid Antigen tests or at-home tests only test for the live protein of the COVID-19 virus. You have to have enough of the virus in your specimen collection in order to test positive. If you’re asymptomatic, or not showing symptoms, you may get a “false negative” reading because there might not be enough of the virus in your system for the test to detect it. Using a Rapid Antigen test or an at-home test kit should only be considered if you actually have symptoms or a known exposure in the early stages of infection. It should also be taken in a series of tests over a span of a few days for more accuracy. Don’t assume that by taking one Antigen test, that you’re in the clear.
It’s highly suggested to follow up with a Rapid PCR test or a PCR test as a proof of test. Unfortunately “at-home” tests and Rapid Antigen tests are not considered a “proof of test”, so plan to get another test as a follow up.
AFC Urgent Care Dedham offers Rapid PCR Testing With Results On The Same Day
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.
Need a reliable and accurate COVID-19 test? AFC Urgent Care Dedham offers Rapid Molecular testing 7 days a week.
**To better serve our patients we have temporarily implemented a ticketing system to schedule for urgent care visits and covid-19 testing throughout the day. Tickets are distributed at the start of each day (approximately 8am) until all appointments have been exhausted for that day. Each ticket will provide information on what time to return back to the center for your appointment.
Rapid Molecular tests are the best of both worlds for a reason. You can rely on the test results for being the most accurate for detecting COVID-19 and you can get results on the same day. Make sure to stick around as results are usually ready within 20 minutes. We will hand you your test results and provide any information and instruction on COVID-19 safety.
Always here for our friends and families in the Dedham, Massachusetts community.