The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on all aspects of life, from the way we interact with each other to how we get tested for the virus. And, while life has returned to a sense of normalcy for most, COVID-19 still poses a threat to our communities. COVID testing has been a key component in stopping the spread and protecting those around us. Two popular testing methods are rapid testing and PCR testing. But what’s the difference between them? Let Freedom Urgent Care explain what each method is and why it matters for anyone searching for “COVID testing near me.”
Understanding the Differences
With the increased availability of both rapid and PCR COVID-19 tests, it can be difficult to determine which type of test is best suited for your needs. Both test types can detect the presence of coronavirus in an individual. But they differ in several ways, including accuracy, speed, and cost. Knowing the differences between these two types of tests can help you make an informed decision about which type of test is best for you.
Rapid COVID Testing
Rapid covid tests are antigen tests that detect pieces of the virus itself in your body. These tests check your sample (usually either a swab or saliva sample) in a matter of minutes, rather than hours like PCR tests do. Because they are quick and easy, these tests are primarily used when you need to know if you currently have an active case of COVID-19. You can check-in to the Freedom Urgent Care near you for rapid COVID testing. Once the test is performed, you can receive the results in as little as 15 minutes.
PCR COVID Testing
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This type of test is highly accurate because it checks for genetic material from the virus itself in your sample. It’s usually done with a swab that is inserted into the nose or throat area. However, it can also be performed with a saliva sample.
Because these tests take longer to process, they can determine whether someone has been exposed to the virus in the past. This is possible even if they had no apparent symptoms. PCR tests can also be used to test people who have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Because this test is highly accurate, it can prevent asymptomatic individuals from unknowingly spreading the virus to others. This is why PCR test results have been required to be cleared for certain types of travel. However, patients should note that it can take up to seven days before the results of a PCR test may be received. So, if you need a PCR test, it’s important to plan accordingly.
Searching for PCR or Rapid COVID Testing Near You?
Are you looking for “COVID testing near me” or trying to decide which type of test is best for you? Understanding the differences between rapid COVID testing and PCR COVID testing is key. Both types of tests offer different advantages depending on what situation you’re in. Freedom Urgent Care offers PCR and rapid testing services. Simply check-in to the Freedom Urgent Care near you to schedule your test. Remember that prevention is always better than treatment. So, please stay safe and practice social distancing whenever possible, especially if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19.