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National Health Education Week

National Health Education Week (Oct. 19–23)

What you need to know about COVID-19 Testing

Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) has been observed the third week in October. It is a week where we all come together to place focus upon and boost public awareness of a major health issue. So, it comes as no surprise that we, at Any Lab Test Now, have decided to focus on the major health issue that has caused confusion, heartache and changed the entire way we navigate our daily lives: COVID-19.

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that is transmitted from person to person. Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness. You can be infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Other ways that you can be infected is by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it — and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Let’s walk you through the different types of tests available and explain some important details of each one.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

PCR tests look for viral genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract, to determine if you have an active infection. It can also help identify people who are contagious to others. It is considered the gold standard and has a nearly 100 percent accuracy rate.

There are three ways to collect a specimen for the PCR test; a long swab that goes to the back of your nasal passage, a short swab that goes into your nose, or a saliva sample in which you simply spit into a collection cup.

A positive PCR test means that you have an active COVID-19 infection. A negative PCR test means that person was probably not infected at the time their sample was collected. However, it doesn’t mean you won’t get sick — it only means that you didn’t have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

A PCR test does not help determine if you’ve had an undiagnosed COVID-19 infection in the past. If you think you were exposed to COVID-19, a PCR does not help determine if you will develop an active infection during the two weeks after exposure. In some people, the virus can only be found by PCR for a few days at the beginning of the infection, so the test might not find the virus if the swab is taken more than a few days after the illness starts.

Antigen Tests

Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus to determine if you have an active infection. Like the PCR test, a nasal swab or saliva test is needed. Test results are usually back within 15 minutes.

A positive antigen test means that you have an active COVID-19 infection. A negative antigen test means that SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were not detected. It should be known that antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, meaning there may be false negative results. Negative tests should be treated as presumptive. If there is still a concern of COVID-19 after a negative antigen test, then you should be tested again with a PCR test.

Antibody Tests

Antibody testing, also known as serology, looks for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the blood to determine if there was either a recent or previous exposure to the infection. A positive antibody test means that you were infected with COVID-19 at some point, and your immune system developed antibodies to try to fight it off. A negative antibody test means that you may not have had COVID-19 in the past. However, you could still have a current infection, and the antibody test was collected too soon to give a positive result.

There are two ways a test can be conducted. The first is through blood taken from your vein. Results are typically back within two to four days. The second is a collection from a blood drop taken from your finger. This is called the rapid test, and the results are usually back in 15 minutes. Rapid test results are slightly less accurate than vein-drawn tests.

Antibody testing can also identify people who had an infection in the past, even if they had no symptoms of the illness. In some cases, it could help determine when COVID-19 illness occurred. It can also help determine if you qualify to donate convalescent plasma (a blood product that contains antibodies against COVID-19 and can be used as a COVID-19 treatment).

We do not know yet how long antibodies stay in your system and whether having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect you from getting infected again. Until scientists get more information about whether antibodies protect against reinfection with this virus, you should continue to take steps to protect yourself and others, including staying at least 6 feet away from other people outside of their home (social distancing), even if they have had a positive antibody test.

Know Your Status

Any Lab Test Now encourages you to seek free testing in your community. But if that is not an option for you, we invite you to seek out the services of Any Lab Test Now. We strive to get you in and out of the facility within 15 minutes. You can pay for the test yourself, and the physician’s order is included. Knowing your status can bring you peace of mind.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

Do You Know Your COVID Testing Options?

Are you confused about which COVID test is right for you? In this video, we will walk you through each COVID test currently available, so that you will know which one is the right fit. With rapid COVID Testing, you can have your results back in virtually no time at all.  Learn more about the COVID PCR Test, COVID Antibody Test, and the COVID Antigen Test. At Any Lab Test Now, we strive to get you in and out of your COVID test within 15 minutes.

Click here to watch the video!