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There are three types of COVID Testing
PCR Test (polymerase chain reaction): this is the most accurate test to pinpoint ribonucleic acid (RNA) from saliva or a nasal swab. This test can be used for an asymptomatic person or symptomatic person.
Rapid (antigen) test: find specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
Antibody tests can determine if the person had the virus, but it won’t spot active infection.
*EMS currently offers PCR and Rapid Antigen testing.
PCR vs. Rapid Antigen Testing
The COVID-19 -PCR test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper and lower respiratory specimens. It detects genetic material exclusive to the Coronavirus to determine active infection. The sample is taken by nasopharyngeal, mid-nasal or oral swab specimen and is the most accurate form of testing available to date.
Processing the test requires certified laboratory procedure and takes several hours- explaining why current national turn-around remains at the 24-72 hour mark. EMS Medical Management is committed to delivering results within 24-48 hours.
Rapid Antigen Testing
Antigen tests are designed to detect viral proteins that are on the surface of the virus. Rapid Antigen tests are able to deliver results typically within 15-20 minutes making them ideal for individuals experiencing symptoms or large volumes of people in a highly-infectious environment. It should be noted that while beneficial in delivering quick results in the hope of minimizing spread, antigen tests have a higher chance of missing an active infection. A negative result should not be assumed as an accurate result- if you are experiencing symptoms it is advised that you also complete a molecular PCR test to confirm infection.