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Sunday, January 10 2021

Three Types of COVID test


What You Need to Know About The 3 Types of COVID-19 Test

Even a full year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, and 10 months since it took hold in the United States, there are still a lot of questions about coronavirus. That includes which type of testing may be appropriate in a given situation. The answer depends on what your goal is and the purpose for seeking a test.

There are four scenarios possible for any individual when it comes to exposure to the coronavirus.

  1. You’ve never been exposed to the virus.
  2. You’ve been exposed but you don’t have an active infection.
  3. You've been exposed and are currently infected and showing symptoms, which means you’re contagious.
  4. You've been exposed and are currently infected with no symptoms, but still contagious.

It’s important to know whether you’re infected or not if, for example, your grandchildren are coming to visit you and you want to keep them safe. Or let’s say you’ve spent time recently with someone who later tested positive and you or someone you live with has a health condition that weakens their immune system.

Which test you choose will depend on your specific circumstances because there are differences to consider.


Antibody Testing

Exposure to any foreign body, including coronavirus, triggers your body’s immune system to produce antibodies against that virus. These are proteins that attach to the virus and prevent it from making you sick while also signaling to the immune system that the virus is a foreign body that needs to be eliminated. The test is based on a blood sample, so it must be done in a healthcare or testing environment like the one we provide at Workplace Screening. A positive test means that you have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 at some point. It does not tell you if you have an active infection. Also, it’s important to remember that testing positive for these antibodies does not necessarily mean you are immune to COVID-19.


PCR Molecular Testing

Also known as RNA testing, PCR molecular testing is highly accurate. It works by testing the saliva or mucus for specific molecules in the RNA of the coronavirus. After the sample is taken, it is sent to a lab for analysis and results are returned in a couple of days. Because it’s so accurate, PCR testing is ideal for people who need to show that they are not infected so they can return to work or school. Some people also choose this type of test if they are planning to travel. Another advantage is that test kits are available that allow you to collect the required sample at home and ship it to the lab.


Antigen Testing

An antigen is defined as a molecular structure found on a pathogen that triggers an immune response. The biggest advantage of an antigen test is that the results are available in just a few minutes because the sample doesn’t need to be sent to a lab. The downside is that, while a positive test is highly accurate, the test is known to occasionally deliver false negatives. So, after a negative test, a doctor may order a more accurate molecular test to rule out an active infection.


At Workplace Screening Intelligence, we provide a wide range of services that include clinical laboratory testing, employment drug testing, parental drug testing, and DNA paternity testing, as well as COVID-19 screening. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 800-338-5515 or visit our website at

Posted by: Phil Dubois AT 03:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email