Why Your COVID-19 Test Matters: All COVID Tests Are Not All The Same

January 9, 2022

Why Your COVID-19 Test Matters: All COVID Tests Are Not All The Same. AFC Urgent Care New Britain Offers PCR And Rapid PCR Tests For COVID-19


Over the next few weeks many of you are going to be testing for COVID-19 in order to travel, go back to work, or attend events.The COVID-19 Omicron variant has been circulating around Connecticut at an insane pace,  and there has been an increase in both cases and testing in over the past two months. Your COVID-19 test matters to help reduce the spread. At the same time we want to make sure you know that they’re not all the same.

AFC Urgent Care New Britain is providing COVID-19 testing in order to ensure that patients that are at risk for COVID-19 are able to get an effective and efficient diagnosis. As we do our part to help the New Britain, CT community with increased testing, we want to help break down the different types of COVID-19 tests available to the public. 

We will address these common questions about the available PCR tests, Rapid Molecular testing, Antigen testing, and At-home testing:

  • How reliable are they?
  • Which one should I get?


Why Your COVID-19 Test Matters (because all COVID tests are not the same!)

People often talk about COVID-19 testing as though there is only one. The truth is, there are a number of them and they’re not all the same. Some are more accurate and reliable, while others aren’t as sensitive or specific when detecting COVID-19 in your specimen collection. It’s important to know the differences because it can help you save time as well as saving someone else who may be at higher risk due to a co-morbidity, advanced age or someone who isn’t, or cannot be vaccinated yet.

Now that we have cleared that up, let’s talk about the different kinds of tests and which one is right for you.

PCR COVID-19 Tests Are The ‘Gold Standard” Of All COVID-19 Tests

“Proof of test” is something we read or hear all the time in order to travel, attend an event or go back to work. Whatever the reason may be, this “proof of test” is referring to a PCR test. 

PCR tests are considered the gold standard of all COVID-19 testing because they’re the most accurate and reliable testing method that can detect the COVID-19 virus. If you’ve been exposed a few days ago, or are asymptomatic and do not know that you’ve been exposed, a PCR test will be able to detect it.

PCR testing is a type of molecular test that is very specific and sensitive when testing the genetic material of the COVID-19 virus. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This test method converts the RNA of the virus into DNA while making millions of copies to test against it multiple times. The only drawback is that results may take a few days. 

In the past year, a Rapid Molecular test has been introduced to the market making it a faster version of the test with results on the same day in real time. AFC New Britain offers both of these. 

But, Don’t Get Confused With Other Rapid Tests Out There!

You may have heard of at-home tests or the ‘Rapid Antigen test’. These are other testing options on the market that give results in minutes. Although widely popular, they are not widely accepted as a “proof of test” by employers, at events or in schools. 

The speediness of the test allows someone who has been exposed, or is having symptoms to get quick results. The drawback is that they can produce false negatives. The trade off for speed is that this testing option is not as reliable or accurate as a PCR test. The method of collection and test itself is not the same. 

Antigen and at-home COVID tests, tests for the live protein of the virus. It’s harder to ensure there is accuracy because you could be past the early stages of infection or are asymptomatic that you could go undetected with this testing option. Unlike the antigen test, a PCR test is more reliable because even if you are passed the early stages of infection it can still detect even the slightest amount of it in your test sample. 

This is why it’s important to choose a more reliable, accurate and widely accepted “proof of test”. A PCR and/or a Rapid Molecular test will give you the results and proof you need to live life uninterrupted, with hope that you’re not positive of course.

Get Your COVID-19 Test Results You Need From The Brand You Trust

We just had a month filled with holidays and gatherings, at which chances are some of us have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Plan your tests. Cases have been increasing and the demand for testing is increasing too thanks to the highly contagious Omicron variant.


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.

We highly suggest you get vaccinated and/or your booster shot for COVID-19 as this has been helping to  keep people out of hospitals who display mild to no symptoms. If you need reliable and accurate testing, AFC Urgent Care New Britain offers testing 7 days a week 

We offer PCR testing with results in 48-72 hours via our NEW patient portal. Instructions are easy to follow via email making it easier for you to just login in and know your result.

Our Rapid Molecular testing option is another option we offer at our center 7 days a week. Results are given on the same day within 20 minutes. This is not via a patient portal, so stick around so we can give you your results in just a few minutes. We hope you all stay safe, wear a mask and continue to take precautions after the holidays. 

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