With so much information circulating the news and online, Pro-Lab Diagnostics knows how important it is to understand COVID-19 testing. We will always advise that you do a final consultation with your primary care physician to interpret your COVID-19 test results should you have more questions.
Keep reading for a guide to walk you through a step-by-step process to help you gather the information you need when it comes to the process of being tested to find out if have been detected for SARS-CoV-2.
There are close to 6 million cases in the state of Texas according to the CDC, so it’s crucial that testing is readily available for our local communities
While there are emerging variants related to COVID-19, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details. Companies who can detect all current variants of SARS-CoV-2, such as Pro-Lab Diagnostics, would have to perform gene sequencing to determine the exact variant for each sample collection.
However, to ensure that our communities are taking precautionary steps to slow the risk for exposure and spread, just knowing you have COVID-19 is the first step, regardless of what variant you have been infected with.
Steps in the Process
The first step to being tested for COVID is knowing why you need a test. Below are some of the main reasons that persuade individuals to be tested:
- Exposure & Symptomatic – Being tested because you feel symptomatic will be covered under insurance. If you don’t have insurance, let the sample collector know and you will be covered under the C.A.R.E.S Act.
- Company Requirement – Companies across the Nation are adopting a protocol to require a full vaccination or a weekly negative test to be in the office. Check your companies’ policies to know if your employer is requiring weekly, negative results and if they will cover those costs.
- Specific Travel Requirements – With the ramp up in travel since the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, some countries and airlines are requiring a negative test to be allowed to travel. Be sure to know your travel requirements before going on vacation. COVID-19 testing for travel is an out-of-pocket cost but keep your receipt to for possible insurance reimbursements.
The next step is choosing a location to have your sample collected by healthcare professionals. Individuals look for the closest, or maybe the fastest location. Below are different types of locations that perform COVID-19 collection:
- Pharmacies – Pharmacies, such as CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid, collect your swab sample and send the sample to a reference laboratory to perform the detection of COVID. Turnaround times average 48-72 hours.
- Collection Sites – You may have seen a collection site in the mall parking lot, or at a local church. Much like a pharmacy, these sites are collecting your sample and sending them to a local reference lab to perform the detection of COVID. Turnaround times average 48-72 hours.
- Reference Labs – Reference laboratories, like Pro-Lab Diagnostics, are a unique collection and sample testing site. When you arrive to a reference lab that performs both the collection and testing for the detection of COVID-19, there is no middleman process. Therefore, turnaround times average 6-24 hours.
The third step is understanding the type of test you need. You may have read words like “Antigen” and “PCR” flying across headlines, but what do they mean?
- Antigen Tests – Antigen, or rapid, tests are popular with at-home test kits. While it’s convenient to receive your results in 20 minutes or less in the comfort of your home, these tests are not as reliable as molecular testing. It’s important to follow up an Antigen test with a laboratory PCR test and consult from your doctor.
- Molecular/PCR Tests – According to UC David Health, molecular tests detect genetic material – the RNA – of the coronavirus and are sensitive enough to need only a very tiny amount of it. These types of tests are mostly used for symptomatic testing or specific travel requirements. However, for travel, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to verify the test will be accepted for travel prior to purchase.
- Antibody Tests – These are not considered diagnostic tests that can determine if someone has an active COVID-19 infection. They use blood samples to look for antibodies produced by a person’s immune system to help fight off COVID-19.
The last step to being COVID tested is receiving your results. Has your collection sample been detected for COVID-19 or not?
- Detected – Positive for SARS-CoV-2
- Not Detected – Negative for SARS-CoV-2
For most locations, you would have registered with your personal information before your COVID-19 sample collection. Depending on the location of your test, results will be emailed to you. Be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider if you have received a positive or negative test and are still feeling unwell.
Get Tested with Pro-Lab Diagnostics
If you want fast, easy, and accurate results for COVID-19, Pro-Lab Diagnostics checks off all the boxes. We offer same-day results, averaging between 6-24 hours. Our testing methods are molecular PCR/NAAT, because accuracy is crucial. Our hours are 8am to 7pm, 7 days a week, because we know life doesn’t end when you leave work on Friday.
While we don’t take appointments, all you need to do is register at info.pro-lab-direct.com (LABSTEST.BIO), receive your QR Code and show up to our drive thru in Round Rock, TX at your convenience.
For more information, visit info.pro-lab-direct.com to view hours, location, costs, services available and contact information.
If you have been tested with Pro-Lab Diagnostics, leave us a review on your experience below!