There are two ways to test for
COVID-19 at Davis Medical Center
1. Antigen testing (also called rapid test):
This test should only be used on patients who are:
1. Sick with COVID like symptoms and
2. Have been sick for more than 24 hours
3. Within 5 days of becoming ill
No test is 100% perfect, but when a patient fits into ALL of these categories, you and your doctor can be confident of the results
*Because some symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to Flu, and some patients also have sore throats, you will be tested for flu and possibly for Strep at the same time.
1. Is collected using a swab just inside the nostrils.
2. Looks for proteins that are part of the shell of the virus.
3. Should only be used within 5 days of becoming ill because the virus moves from the nose into the chest and lungs (and you can get a negative result, even though you do have COVID).
2. PCR testing (also called molecular testing, screening test or RT-PCR):
This test should be used on patients who:
1. Have been sick for more than 5 days
2. Had exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19
3. Need a negative result to have a procedure
4. Need a negative result to return to work or school, or travel.
1. Is collected using a swab that goes to the back of your nose (nasopharyngeal swab)
2. When the specimen is collected appropriately it is very accurate and you can be confident of the results
**The virus moves to the lungs, but some of the DNA will always be found in the nose (just not the shell of the virus) and this test looks for pieces of DNA that are specific to COVID
When Should I Return to Work After COVID-19?