We offer COVID-19 PCR testing and COVID-19 antigen testing. Our patients can expect same day results, as long as the sample is collected before 2 PM at Durham or Cary office! Results for samples collected past 2 PM will result next day. We also offer QR codes on result for travelers.
Accurate Gold Standard
Molecular COVID-19 tests are designed to detect an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The most well-known molecular test uses a laboratory method known as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) that is often called PCR. PCR and molecular tests work by looking for the virus’s genetic material in your test sample, which is usually taken by swabbing your nose or throat. Molecular tests analyzed by a laboratory are generally considered to be the most accurate method of diagnosing COVID-19.
This COVID-19 test may be helpful for those who:
- Currently have symptoms of COVID-19
- Live or work in a place where people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity (this can include healthcare settings, homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, group homes, prisons, detention centers, schools, and workplaces)
- Have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
- Have been identified as someone who should get tested by an employer, public health department, contact investigator, or healthcare provider
- Are visiting a place that requires testing prior to arrival
- Do not have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19, but who are unknowingly infected
How is a PCR different from a COVID-19 antigen test?
Both PCR and antigen tests are methods of detecting an active infection of SARS-CoV-2, but they accomplish this in different ways.
Molecular tests like a PCR look for the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2. Antigen tests identify the presence of a particular kind of protein, known as an antigen, that is found on the exterior of the virus itself.
Both molecular tests and antigen tests can be conducted on a sample taken from your nose, but molecular tests can be performed on saliva or throat samples as well. Both types of tests can be analyzed either in a laboratory or with a rapid, point-of-care system.
In general, PCR tests are considered to be more accurate than antigen tests, and in some cases, a PCR is used to confirm the result of an antigen test.
Covid-19 testing guidelines: