Testing for COVID-19

There has been a huge rise in the amount of COVID-19 tests done in the United States. Everyday I get questions such as :

  • “Do you do COVID tests in your office?”
  • “Do you have the rapid COVID test available?”
  • “My daughter’s boyfriend got diagnosed with COVID and he was visiting my house. Should I get tested for COVID?”
  • “How long does it take to get results of a COVID test?”
  • “Is the COVID test a good test?”

Here is some good information to you to know about COVID testing:

Who is a good candidate for COVID testing?

  • Have a known or suspected exposure (including neonates born to a mother of COVID-19)
  • Will undergo a planned surgery or an aerosol-generating procedure
  • Are undergoing chemotherapy
  • Are part of a large group of disproportionately affected COVID-19, such as Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, or American Indian/ Alaskan Native American communities

When should I get tested for COVID-19 if I am exposed?

  • Testing asymptomatic people after an exposure is recommended five to seven days after the exposure based on the median viral incubation period. Testing should not occur for at least 48 hours after exposure.

What testing modalities are available for COVID-19?

  • Antibody test- It detects the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to SARS-Cov-2, which emerge approximately five and 14 days after symptom onset. A positive result can indicate prior infection or exposure, which is important for detecting infections with few or no symptoms.
  • PCR test- The PCR test detects the presence of coronavirus RNA and is used to confirm the diagnosis of COVID-19. Nasopharyngeal swabs are somewhat more sensitive than oropharyngeal swabs. If both are collected, the may be combined and tested simultaneously in a single reaction to conserve reagents.
  • Point of care tests- Results are available in minutes. Nucleic acid amplification testing targets part of the RdRp gene that is specific to SARS-Cov-2. The reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of these tests are variable.

Who is a candidate for retesting?

  • Retesting can be considered to confirm disease resolution in immunocompromised patients if enough testing capacity exists.

If you are asymptomatic and have NOT been exposed, there is no need to get tested! Just wear a mask and carry on with your daily life.

We do offer COVID testing in our office for asymptomatic patients. Please call our office at 847-289-8555 to see if you qualify for the test.