How To Know Which COVID-19 Test Is Right For You?
When it comes to testing for COVID-19, it can be confusing to know what types of tests are available and which one is most appropriate for you. Two kinds of tests can be performed to identify the presence of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus – a viral/swab (PCR and antigen) test and an antibody test. The swab test is effective for detecting a current illness or infection, while the antibody test identifies if an individual previously had coronavirus, based on the antibodies in their blood.
At iCare ER & Urgent Care, we offer COVID-19 tests at our facilities in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. We administer both swab tests (PCR and antigen) and the antibody test, meaning we can quickly and accurately test those who have active symptoms, as well as those who do not.
Learn more about how the testing options for COVID-19 differ, and what type of testing is available through our emergency room and urgent care facilities to determine if you are infected with the coronavirus.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19
Some patients who contract COVID-19 may show a wide variety of symptoms, while others may not exhibit any at all. The most frequently reported symptoms associated with coronavirus include:
- difficulty breathing
- shortness of breath
- muscular pains
- sore throat
- a loss of smell and/or taste
If at any time you notice that your symptoms or condition seems to be worsening, visit the nearest emergency room.
COVID-19 testing options
There are three types of COVID-19 tests available at iCare ER & Urgent Care’s Frisco and Fort Worth, TX locations:
- polymerase chain reaction, or PCR
The PCR and antigen tests can detect if a person is currently infected with COVID-19. The antibody test identifies if a person had an infection in the past.
The PCR test looks for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract for an active infection. It can be performed via nasal or throat swabs, as well as tests of saliva or other bodily fluids. The virus can be detected approximately 2 – 3 days after the person is exposed to COVID-19. Most patients receive their results from the PCR test the same day.
Like the PCR test, the antigen test also looks for fragments of proteins that make up the coronavirus via a nasal or throat swab to determine if the patient has an active infection. The results of the antigen test are available the same day, often in less than an hour. However, antigen tests are less sensitive than the PCR test, which means there is a greater chance of receiving a false negative result.
At iCare ER & Urgent Care, we perform the BioFire PCR test. This test offers 97% accuracy and is the highest quality COVID-19 test currently available. We also offer the Sofia SARS antigen test. At our Frisco and Fort Worth, TX locations, testing for COVID-19 via the PCR or antigen test are conducted in the emergency room side of our unique hybrid, dual-service facility.
How is the antibody test different from PCR and antigen testing?
Antibodies occur naturally in the blood and are tiny proteins that fight infection. Antibody testing is an option for patients who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, who have previously been infected with the virus, or are asymptomatic. The test, typically, cannot detect the antibodies until at least ten days after a patient has been exposed to COVID-19.
This test is conducted using a blood draw and checks for the presence of specific antibodies that may indicate a previous infection with the virus. Patients, typically, receive results from the antibody test within hours.
At iCare ER & Urgent Care, antibody testing for Fort Worth and Frisco, TX patients is only offered through the urgent care option.
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), patients who receive a positive test result should remain self-isolated and quarantined for at least ten days from the start of their symptoms. If symptoms continue beyond ten days, patients must continue to remain in isolation until there is an improvement in symptoms for 72 hours.
COVID-19 testing in Frisco and Fort Worth at iCare ER & Urgent Care
After visiting our iCare ER & Urgent Care facilities for COVID-19 testing in Fort Worth or Frisco, TX, we will contact you when your test results have been received. It is recommended that you self-quarantine until you receive the results, even if you are asymptomatic. There is always the possibility that you are positive for coronavirus and could be exposing others to the infection.
The cost of the COVID-19 tests will vary depending on your insurance carrier. Patients are encouraged to check with their individual insurance providers to verify coverage and pricing.
Our board-certified emergency room physicians and professional staff at iCare ER & Urgent Care maintain the highest levels of cleanliness and follow all the recommendations provided by the CDC. For more information about COVID-19 testing or to book an appointment for coronavirus tests in Fort Worth or Frisco, visit our COVID-19 – What You Need to Know page.