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LifestyleWhat is a COVID-19 antigen test?

What is a COVID-19 antigen test?

The COVID-19 antigen test can detect coronavirus proteins within the throat and mouth. This test can determine if a patient has COVID-19. Antibody tests are able to tell you if you have had COVID-19 in the past. This type of test is also known as a serology test, or a serological exam.

Antigen testing can be used as a ‘first line defense’ against COVID-19 in patients with COVID symptoms. It is a simple procedure and takes only around 15 minutes to get a result.

However, it is less accurate than PCR testing because a high viral load (COVID-19) is needed for the antigen test to detect SARSCoV-2 virus (COVID-19). It is possible for some people to return false results, but this is rare.

A COVID-19 rapid antigen test for travel typically involves a swab from the patient’s nose or throat. However, saliva and blood can also be taken. The sample is then analysed in the same way as a pregnancy test.

The results are usually available within 15-30 minutes of the sample being analysed. This means that patients may be able to see their results on-site before they leave.

What you can expect from the COVID-19 Antigen Testing:

Depending on where you choose, we either greet you at one of our centres or travel directly to your home.

While you’re relaxed, informed, and comfortable, we carefully swab your nose (nasal canal) and throat (tonsil region).

Your sample will be processed on-site while you wait. We will still take your contact information if COVID-19 guidelines prevent you from waiting at the testing site.

Within minutes of your test, you will receive your results

A COVID-19 antigen testing can lead to 3 outcomes:

1. Positive COVID-19 antigen test result

2. Negative COVID-19 antigen test result

3. Void antigen test result

Antigen tests are designed to detect specific viral markers, called antigens. Antigens used in an antigen test can be used to detect novel coronavirus antigens. If they are found, the antibodies will bind to them and produce a positive result.

A nasal swab is used to collect samples for antigen testing. An antigen test can be done at many places such as:

Hospitals

urgent care centers

Health clinics

pharmacies

Community-based COVID-19 testing locations

At home

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