According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rapid antigen tests are commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Antigen tests check samples from the respiratory system (such as nasal swabs) to detect if the virus is present meaning you have an active infection.
Rapid antigen tests are particularly helpful if the person is tested in the early stages of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when viral load is generally highest. The rapid antigen tests that have been approved by the FDA have high rates of specificity, which means that false positive results are unlikely.
These tests will show if you have an active infection not if you have been infected in the past (antibody testing). For more information about the types of testing, please watch the FDA video below.
Types of Testing
Also known as...
Diagnostic test, viral test, molecular test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test
Rapid diagnostic test(Some molecular tests are also rapid tests.)
Serological test, serology, blood test, serology test
How the sample is taken...
Nasal or throat swab (most tests)
Saliva (a few tests)
Nasal or throat swab
Finger stick or blood draw
How long it takes to get results...
Same day (some locations) or up to a week
One hour or less
Same day (many locations) or 1-3 days
Is another test needed...
This test is typically highly accurate and usually does not need to be repeated.
Positive results are usually highly accurate but negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test.
Sometimes a second antibody test is needed for accurate results.
What is shows...
Diagnoses active coronavirus infection
Diagnoses active coronavirus infection
Shows if you’ve been infected by coronavirus in the past
What it can't do...
Show if you ever had COVID-19 or were infected with the coronavirus in the past
Definitively rule out active coronavirus infection. Antigen tests are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to
molecular tests. Your health care provider may order a molecular test if your antigen test shows a negative result but you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Diagnose active coronavirus infection at the time of the test or show that you do not have COVID-19
Information courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration. For more information, click here.
As of January 7, 2022, the CDC recommends that the following people get tested:
• People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
• People who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested to check for infection at least 5 days after they last had close contact with someone with COVID-19. The date of the last close contact is considered day
• People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who are prioritized for expanded community screening for COVID-19.
• People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, tribal, local, or territorial health department.
The following people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to get tested if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms:
• People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, as long as they do not develop new symptoms, do not need to get tested.
For more information on testing, please click here.
The CDC also has a COVID Viral Testing Tool to help you decide whether you should be tested or not. It asks a series of questions and provides recommendations based on your answers. To access the COVID Viral Testing Tool, please click here.
Drop-in's welcome with no appointment needed to get tested.
A report of your results is given at the completion of testing.
Results available within 15 minutes to quickly get you on your way.
Anterior nasal swabs provide a more comfortable testing experience. Swabs are done within the nose rather than deep in the nasal cavity.
COVID-19 Home Antigen Test Kits
COVID-19 Home Antigen Test Kits are now available. Each kit contains 1 test and uses an anterior nasal swab. Anterior nasal swabs are a more comfortable way to test because the swab stays within the nose rather than going into the deep sinus cavity. It is easy to use and provides results in 15 minutes!
Test kit is only $29.99!
Here for Testing?
Please wait in your car and call 912-629-0444, option 3 to let us know that you have arrived, fill out the following form, and click the submit button.
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Savannah, GA 31405
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Phone: (912) 629-0444
Fax: (912) 629-0443
Toll free: (855) 741-5983