Antigen Rapid Test vs PCR Test
COVID 19 Antigen testing (aka Rapid Testing) is not as accurate as PCR testing, but does help mitigate outbreaks in places where people congregate for work, school or social events.
The test looks for pieces of protein made by the virus. Like the PCR test, it involves a nasal swab, but it doesn’t need to go as deep as the PCR test swab. This makes them highly sensitive and prone to producing positive results even after a person is no longer infectious.
When to do Covid 19 Antigen Testing
These tests are meant to be used in outbreaks where large portions of the people are symptomatic. That’s because these indicating factors make it more likely that a positive is true. So, the reliability goes up when the symptoms are present. But, testing asymptomatic populations will likely result in positives that are less likely to be true.
So, these tests have their place. And that’s not an environment that requires highly accurate tests for asymptomatic people in hopes of avoiding an outbreak. They are more for detecting who, in an outbreak, has contracted it.
Where to get Covid 19 Antigen Testing
Accessibility is a problem. The government of Canada has not done a good job of determining who gets the tests and at what cost.
So, some places have them available for testing free of charge, while others insist you buy and pay for them on your own. And, there doesn’t appear to have a rhyme or reason, yet.
So, the only option is to call ahead to see if the company, organization or event have them available, purchase your own at a pharmacy that carries them, or have a company like Med Creek Medics take care of it all.
Mud Creek Medics
Mud Creek Medics provides a full-service process for rapid test COVID screening. The COVID-19 antigen rapid test device instantly identifies the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein in a simple NP/OP swabbed specimen.
Our collection process is a shallow nasal swab that will detect both viable and nonviable virus in nasopharyngeal secretions. These tests are quick to perform and results are provided in 20 minutes, identifying either a positive, negative or invalid result.
In the event of an invalid result, the donor will be retested. Ideal time frame for testing is 3-5 days post contact or once symptoms are present.
Whether you’re in the midst of a breakout during a shutdown, turnaround, or other project, rapid COVID tests can be performed at a designated area provided by the customer, or in our mobile testing lab that we can bring to site.
We also perform these tests in our testing facility. Just make arrangements ahead of time and we can accommodate.
To learn more, check out our Drug, Alcohol & COVID19 Testing services.