- Molecular Testing
- Antigen Testing
There are 2 common types of viral tests: molecular and antigen. Molecular tests are the most sensitive, as they look for the viral DNA, whereas antigen tests look for surface markers of the virus. Our ID NOW test is an example of one of the 2 molecular testing options available; NAAT (nucleic acid amplification) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
What type of test does The Urgency Room Use?
The Urgency Room our test is a NAAT (nucleic acid amplification) lab-based viral molecular test. Typically, there are two types of tests for COVID-19: viral testing and antibody testing. Viral tests, like the test used at The Urgency Room, determine if you currently have an infection while antibody tests determine if you have had the virus previously.
At Home Testing:
We are now seeing more and more options for at home testing. These tests are antigen tests designed to quickly detect surface markers for COVID. Antigen tests have proven sufficiently sensitive when the person has a higher viral load and is therefore more contagious. They can be less sensitive to people presenting with little to no symptoms.
If you begin to experience a fever, cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose or congestion, it’s important to get tested right away. An at-home antigen test is a good first option in this situation, and if the result is positive, it likely means you have Covid-19. When you have symptoms and an antigen test is positive, there isn’t a need to confirm the result with a lab-based test.
However, if the at-home test is negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. If your symptoms persist or get worse, it’s a good idea to take another at-home test the following day or consult with your health care provider. These at-home tests can be a good way to identify many people who are actively contagious, but it will not catch everyone.
The CDC is a great resource for patients when looking to further understand the usage of antigen testing. Contineu to check with both the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health for more information and guidance
Why we use the ID NOW molecular test:
The ID NOW test we use at The Urgency Room has a combination of the high sensitivity of a molecular method combined with rapid results ideal for facilities like ours, where samples are run immediately and patients are not staying for long periods of time. The goal is to provide highly accurate, rapid testing to identity infection quickly and in-turn, reduce the spread.
Both molecular and antigen tests are in high demand. We are doing our very best to safely test and treat as many patients as we can at The Urgency Room. If you are concerned you might have COVID or have questions about your at home results, self-isolate until you are able to be seen for a molecular test. You can schedule a test with us online: Schedule a COVID Test.