Here’s What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Tests


Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by visiting the CDC website.

As more COVID-19 testing options become available, it can be confusing to figure out the purpose of each test and what your results mean. Read on to get a breakdown of what you need to know about three common types of testing.

What You Can Expect From Each COVID-19 Test

Molecular Test

This diagnostic test is highly accurate in detecting the presence of viral RNA to determine whether or not someone has an active COVID-19 infection. At St. Joseph Health, our team is able to get results back within 1-4 hours. Some testing sites take up to a week to get results. If you get a molecular test, it’s important to quarantine until you receive results.

Antigen Test

This diagnostic test is helpful in quickly detecting the presence of an active COVID-19 infection, sometimes providing results within 15 minutes. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may order a molecular test if your antigen test comes back negative. This is because the antigen test often produces positive results with high accuracy and negative results with low accuracy, meaning that a negative result does not guarantee the absence of infection.

Antibody Test

This test identifies antibodies indicative of prior infection and increased immunity to the virus through a blood sample. It is not able to detect an active COVID-19 virus. Keep in mind that antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after initial infection, so a doctor may recommend a second antibody test if results come back negative.

A Side-By-Side Comparison of COVID-19 Tests

Here’s a helpful chart you can use to easily differentiate the types of testing.

Find more information about how you can take care of yourself and your loved ones during the pandemic on our COVID-19 Information Hub. Need a quick symptom evaluation? Schedule a televisit with your St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network primary care physician.

Source:
FDA | Coronavirus Testing Basics

 

Recent Updates

What You Need To Know About the Gender Health Gap

JUN 08, 2021

Is it genetics or lifestyle behaviors that lead to women living longer compared to men? Find out how men can close the gender health gap.

Read More Additional information about What You Need To Know About the Gender Health Gap

Deep Breathing Exercises for Anxiety: Tips and Tricks

MAY 17, 2021

Set aside time to get comfortable and practice breathing in and out. Learn more about deep diaphragmatic breathing with a free guide.

Read More Additional information about Deep Breathing Exercises for Anxiety: Tips and Tricks

Can Brain Games Keep Your Mind Young?

APR 29, 2021

Most of us have heard about the billion-dollar “brain games” industry that provides mental challenges to improve cognitive ability. But does this brain training really work? Recent studies have shown an improvement in different cognitive domains afte

Read More Additional information about Can Brain Games Keep Your Mind Young?

Find a Doctor


Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.




Learn the Stroke Facts