What are the different types of COVID-19 Testing?

June 20, 2020

Patients that need COVID-19 can get many different types of testing. As testing access continues to grow in the United States, patients will need to know what types of testing is available for their needs. Previously, patients could only get diagnostic swab testing but not have access to other options for COVID testing. As testing access expanded in the last three months, patients can now determine if they are ready to return to work and participate in normal activities.

What are the types of testing that patients can access now that COVID-19 care is rapidly growing across the U.S? Below, the team at AFC Urgent Care Denver dives into the types of testing available at our nearby urgent care centers as well as through drive-through testing:

Swab testing helps detect an active COVID-19 infection

Standard swab COVID-19 testing allows a patient to determine if they current have a COVID-19 infection. A cotton swab is inserted into a patient's throat or mouth to collect a sample for testing. Medical providers process the sample in a lab setting to identify if the patient currently has a novel coronavirus infection.

Swab testing takes a while to return results, but the testing results are 100% accurate. Usually, a provider has patients call ahead to an urgent care center or medical clinic to screen before coming in for a swab test. Medical organizations must ensure that they are maintaining infection control safeguards by testing the highest risk patients. Recent testing updates have allowed medical providers, including the team at AFC Urgent Care Denver, to test the majority of patients with appointments for COVID testing.

Antibody testing allows a patient to determine COVID immunity from previous infection

Antibody testing for COVID-19 allows a patient to find out if they have recovered and maintained partial immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection. An antibody test processes results quickly for patients and is useful to determine if healthy and/or recovered patients are able to return to work, school, and other normal activities. With an antibody test, patients that have symptoms of COVID-19 can also check if their illness came from a standard seasonal illness or from a coronavirus infection.

It is important to note that antibody testing does not help patients find out if they have an active infection. The test only checks to see if a patient's immune developed antibodies that effectively fight off COVID-19.

Rapid testing access may soon provide same-day results about active infections

COVID-19 rapid testing will soon be available at AFC Urgent Care Denver for patients, which can provide same-day results for active COVID-19 infections. A rapid antigen test allows providers to analyze a swab sample and provide positive and negative results in a few minutes. Antigen tests have varying rates for positive cases (85%+) but average a 100% negative rate. An antigen test is a quick and efficient way to find out if you may need to quarantine, stay at home, and delay a return to normal activity.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 testing in Denver, please consult our team right away to learn more.

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