You’ve heard a lot of news reports talking about coronavirus testing. You may even know someone who got tested or just got their whole family tested. One of the biggest questions on parents’ minds is, “Should me or my child get tested for COVID-19?". While you may want to rush right out and get you and your child tested, here’s what you should understand about coronavirus testing and what to expect when you call our office for testing.
Dr. Stacy Hausmann at North Woodmere Medical Care offers three different types of coronavirus testing: PCR nasal swab, rapid antigen test (swab) and serum (blood) antibody test. Here’s what you should know,
The Types of Testing
- PCR Nasal Swab Test: PCR nasal swab test is a standard nasal swab test used to diagnose active COVID-19. This test is recommended if you have symptoms of coronavirus or you have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 test. It is also a good test to pick up asymptomatic COVID-19. While some test results may come back the very same day, you may need to wait a few days to get your results.
- Rapid Covid Test: another type of nasal swab test used to diagnose active COVID-19. This one provides results within 15 minutes (like a rapid strep test) and is also used if you are experiencing active symptoms of coronavirus. This test is also a good test if you think you have been exposed and have active infection and symptoms. However, if the Rapid Antigen Test is negative a PCR nasal swab would be the next appropriate test.
- Antibody Test: this test looks for the presence of antibodies within the immune system that protects against the infection. The antibody test is a blood test that will look for antibodies within the blood, which are present in those who have been infected with the virus but are no longer infected. If there are antibodies present it means you were infected with COVID-19 in the past and now have the antibodies.
FAQS about Coronavirus Testing
We know that information and data is rapidly changing when it comes to coronavirus, but we are happy to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your family’s health. Here are some of the top questions regarding coronavirus testing,
Who should get coronavirus testing?
Not everyone will require testing but it’s a good idea to get tested if you or a family member are having active symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You may also choose to get tested if you are in a household with someone who is immunocompromised or could be a high risk for serious complications if infected. You may also choose to get tested if you are asymptomatic and have concerns for having COVID-19. Today, COVID-19 testing is also needed for certain flights, arriving in different countries, returning from high risk travel areas to NY as per NY guidelines, to school, work, medical procedures and other activities.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear after being exposed to COVID-19. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose
- Abdominal pain
How quickly will I get my results?
With the rapid test you will get results the very same day within 15 minutes of obtaining the test; however, it can take a couple of days to get results from the antibody test and PCR nasal swab tests.
I have symptoms. Which test should I get?
If you think you may currently have an infection or you have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 test, then a PCR nasal swab or rapid test is a good choice to try to determine the presence of an active infection. However, if the rapid antigen test is negative it is recommended that the patient have a PCR nasal swab.
A nasal swab test is recommended if you or your child is currently dealing with respiratory or other COVID-19 symptoms or you have an exposure and you are concerned that they may have COVID-19. It is also recommended to have a nasal swab test if you are asymptomatic and concerned for COVID-19 as well as for screening asymptomatic individuals. If you are curious as to whether you or your child has already been infected with the virus in the past and is no longer infected then an antibody test will be more appropriate. If there are antibodies present it means you were infected with COVID-19 in the past and now have the antibodies.
Still not sure whether you or your child should get tested? Don’t worry; Dr. Hausmann offers telehealth appointments so you can first consult with your doctor virtually. It will be determined whether or not you or your child could benefit from testing and what the next steps would be to get tested for Coronavirus at North Woodmere Medical Care. We see patients from the Five Towns (Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Lawrence, Hewlett, and Inwood), Far Rockaway, and other communities.