When Should I Get Tested for COVID-19?
As many people in Texas continue to adjust to the new normal that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, some still remain unsure as to whether or not they should be tested for the virus.
According to the CDC, you should be tested for COVID-19 if you display common symptoms, have had close contact with someone with a confirmed case, or have been asked to be tested by an employer or government official.
Keep reading to learn more about COVID-19, as well as your testing options available at Better Faster Urgent Care.
Common Signs of COVID-19
After a person is exposed to the novel coronavirus, symptoms can take 2-14 days to appear. However, patients may also be asymptomatic — meaning they have the virus but show no symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Sudden loss of taste or smell
The following are emergency warning signs of COVID-19 that warrant immediate medical attention:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Most patients with novel coronavirus will experience a fever and common flu-like symptoms. If you believe that you have COVID-19, you should seek medical attention immediately to be tested and treated.
Preventing the Spread COVID-19
Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep yourself as healthy as possible to protect yourself against any illness — especially the novel coronavirus. Use these tips to keep you and your family as healthy as possible.
- Wash your hands with warm soap and water before/after eating and through the day.
- Avoiding sharing toys, snacks, or other physical items.
- Clean common surfaces in your home regularly.
- Stay up to date on CDC guideline updates.
- Get your seasonal flu shot early to protect your immune system.
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others when possible.
- Wear a mask at all times when out in public.
- Cover your cough and sneezes.
- If you feel sick, seek medical attention, and avoid public spaces.
Types of COVID-19 Testing Available at Better Faster Urgent Care
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms of COVID-19, or believe that you have come in contact with a person who has tested positive, you may choose to be tested. At Better Faster Urgent Care, we offer three different testing options.
If you do choose to be tested for COVID-19, it’s important to remember that you should quarantine at home while you await your pending test results.
Rapid Antibody COVID-19 Testing
Antibodies are formed by your body’s immune system to fight off infection. An antibody (serology) COVID-19 test can tell you if you have been in contact with the novel coronavirus in the past. This test result will indicate that you’ve contracted the virus, but are not currently sick. The test looks for one or both kinds of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19:
- IgM antibodies, which happen early in an infection
- IgG antibodies, which are more likely to show up later
During the antibody test, one of our technicians will take a small sample of your blood via a finger prick.
Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Testing
An antigen COVID-19 test molecules on the surface of the coronavirus. This test is similar to a rapid strep test in nature. This test has been most commonly used to diagnose patients who may be asymptomatic.
At the appointment, one of our technicians will use a nose swab to take your sample. We will then run the sample and can let you know your results in as short as 15 minutes. It’s important to note that false negatives are possible with this test, though positive test results are highly accurate.
PCR COVID-19 Testing
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test looks for genetic material in your sample that is associated with the novel coronavirus. According to the Texas State Department of Health Services, PCR tests look for pieces of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 to determine if the person has an active infection.
In contrast to the rapid antigen and rapid antibody testing, PCR COVID-19 tests typically take between 24 to 72 hours to come back. A technician will use a nasal swab to perform the test. Though this test takes the longest, it is the most accurate test available to determine if you are positive for COVID-19.
Booking a COVID-19 Testing Appointment at Better Faster Urgent Care
If you believe that you may have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and wish to be tested at Better Faster Urgent Care, you can now schedule your visit online.
Once confirmed, our staff will call you by phone to complete your registration around the time of your visit. You will visit with the doctor through a virtual video consultation, and will then be able to order the appropriate test depending on your needs and symptoms.
Upon arriving for your in-person testing appointment, we will then come out to your car to administer the test. If you will need a copy of the result, please let a member of our staff know — you’ll need to wait for the result as we will not be able to email a result.