COVID-19 Rapid and PCR Test
About the rapid COVID-19 test
As you likely know, a COVID-19 rapid test could be a game-changer when it comes to quicker and safer coronavirus testing. Being to test more people in a shorter amount of time would improve our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our local communities. Not to mention, this would also help businesses reopen and stay open.
With that being said, we want to provide important information about the test — which is now available at all People First Urgent Care locations — to provide a better understanding of its capabilities and how it differs from the standard FDA approved COVID tests. The Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test is also covered by most PPO plans, Medi-Cal, Cal-Optima Direct, Alta Med, and all other IPAs we will not be accepted even if the IPA is under Cal-Optima. We also have self-pay options if you don’t have insurance. We are testing anyone that would like to get tested. COVID-19 Testing is by appointment only.
WHAT IS THE COVID-19 RAPID TEST?
While there are a few COVID-19 rapid tests in development by multiple companies, the Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA — from Quidel — has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA. This means it is safe to be used in certain circumstances, and is the reason People First Urgent Care has made it available at each of our 4 convenient urgent care locations throughout Shelby County. The rapid test is also available for businesses to test employees at our clinics.
This touchscreen point-of-care system rapidly analyzes nasal swab samples from patients who are suspected to have COVID-19; producing results in as little as 15 minutes. For context, the current COVID-19 swab tests can sometimes take days to produce results.
WHERE CAN I GET THE COVID RAPID TEST NEAR ME?
People First Urgent Care has been offering nasal swab tests coronavirus testing in Shelby County for months as part of our ongoing efforts to slow COVID-19. With that being said, we want to stay on the forefront of COVID-19 testing to ensure as many people as possible can be tested in a short amount of time.
This is why the COVID-19 rapid test is now available at all of our urgent care locations throughout Shelby County. The point of care test from Quidel will provide results in 15 minutes and will be used along with the observation of one of our healthcare providers to ensure each patient receives the right course of treatment.
The FDA recognized the critical nature of making this test available, which is why it has been given emergency use authorization for special circumstances. When asked about the Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA, the FDA said “The antigen diagnostic tests quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs”.
Antigen tests will allow us to test more people per day and help contain the spread of Covid as well as helping businesses stay open and re-open.
GETTING TESTED NOW FOR COVID-19 IN SHELBY COUNTY
The rapid COVID-19 antigen test is available at People First Urgent Care. You can also get standard COVID-19 testing in Shelby County at both of our locations.
Why choose us? Beyond being the leader in COVID-19 testing to help slow the spread of the virus in our local communities, we’re open 7 days a week — from 8am to 8pm — to provide a safe and convenient testing environment for all patients. Testing is available at all 4 of our convenient urgent care locations in Shelby County. This includes our Barlett and Millington locations.
The rapid COVID test by Quidel — called the Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA — is what is known as an “antigen” test. Designed to detect specific proteins in the body from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens (nasal swabs), the Quidel test can produce results in as little as 15 minutes.
This test specifically has recently been approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC — including cough, shortness of breath, and persistent fever — or are in the at-risk group, then your healthcare provider may determine that a rapid COVID-19 test is necessary.
Antigen tests detect proteins found in the virus that causes COVID-19, unlike other COVID-19 tests. For example: one of the most common tests available are PCR tests (also referred to as molecular tests) which detect genetic material from the virus.
If you were to test negative for COVID-19 after an antigen test, yet still suspect you have the virus, your doctor may recommend a PCR test to help provide clarity. If another test is not available to you, the CDC recommends staying in isolation until you have met all 3 of the following criteria:
- You have NOT had a fever for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Your other symptoms (such as shortness of breath or cough) have noticeably improved.
- A minimum of 7 days have gone by since the beginning of your symptoms.
Risks are minimal and include:
- Potential discomfort or other complications that may occur during nasal swab sample collection.
- Possible incorrect test results (see below for more information)
The benefits of the rapid COVID-19 test far outweigh the risks, and include:
- The results obtained from your test can help your doctor make informed decisions when it comes to the best course of care.
- The results can help prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 to members of your family or others in your local community.
- You’ll get results in a shorter amount of time; giving you peace of mind and allowing more people to be tested each day.
If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19 because proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 were found in your sample. Therefore, it is also likely that you may be placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to others. There is a very small chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false-positive result). Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on your test result(s) along with your medical history, and your symptoms.
A negative test result means that proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample. It is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If your test result is negative, your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.
No. This test is not yet approved or cleared by the United States FDA. When there are no FDA-approved or cleared tests available, and other criteria are met, FDA can make tests available under an emergency access mechanism called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The EUA for this test is supported by the Secretary of Health and Human Service’s (HHS’s) declaration that circumstances exist to justify the emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for the detection and/or diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID-19. This EUA will remain in effect (meaning this test can be used) for the duration of the COVID-19 declaration justifying emergency of IVDs, unless it is terminated or revoked by FDA (after which the test may no longer be used).