COVID-19 Testing for Patients in Tampa and Cirrus Park
Rapid COVID-19 Testing FAQ
We offer several different tests to aid in the diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19). It can be confusing to know which test is right for you. That is why AFC Urgent Care Tampa provided the following guide to help patients determine their best option for COVID-19 testing, based on their primary needs:
COVID-19 Testing for Travel Needs
If you are going to fly Internationally or domestic travel to certain states, then you will require a molecular test—either the Abbott ID Now Rapid test or the NAAT/PCR Test through Quest Labs. You should check on your destination (domestic or international) to determine their requirements. In choosing between the two tests, the main differentiating factor is the time for the results to become available.
The Abbott ID Now test will provide results in 15 minutes, whereas the NAAT/PCR Quest test will take an average of 2-3 days to provide results (this can be difficult if test results must be received within 72 hours of your flight). There is a difference in the cost of the tests with the Abbott Rapid test not being covered by insurance.
COVID-19 Testing for Sick and Symptomatic Patients
If you are experiencing symptoms (i.e., cough, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of smell/taste, diarrhea) then you can obtain a molecular test or an antigen test. The molecular tests (Abbott ID NOW Rapid test or the NAAT/PCR Quest test) detect the genetic material of the COVID virus whereas the antigen test (Access Bio CareStart Rapid test) detects the protein on the surface of the virus.
The specificity of both types of test is greater than 99%–i.e., if your test is positive, then you have (or had) COVID-19. The sensitivity for the molecular tests is @ 95% compared to @88% for the antigen test. This means there is about a 5% chance of having a false negative result (test is negative but you have COVID-19) with the molecular tests; this is at @ 12% with the antigen test. On the flip side, studies indicate that the molecular tests can continue to show a positive test well beyond the time of contagiousness—i.e., your test is positive, but you are no longer at a risk of spreading the infection.
The antigen is a better reflection of being actively infective. Because of the higher chance of a false negative with the antigen test, it is recommended that if you are sick AND have a negative antigen test, then a follow-up molecular test can be performed to confirm the diagnosis. This would be beneficial in advising your contacts and their need to quarantine; since you are sick you will need to remain in isolation for 10 days irrespective of what the tests show.
COVID-19 Testing for patients in recent contact with a confirmed patient
If you have had close contact (defined as >15 minutes of close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, then you can obtain either an antigen (Access Bio CareStart Rapid test) or a molecular test (Abbott ID NOW Rapid test or the NAAT/PCR Quest test).
The advantage of the antigen test in this situation is that it will indicate if you are contagious (i.e., actively infective) and have less chance of showing positivity if you had been infected in the past (i.e., you are no longer infected).
Return to work COVID-19 Testing
If your job requires negative test to return to work (currently not recommended by the CDC), then you can obtain either an antigen (Access Bio CareStart Rapid test) or a molecular test (Abbott ID NOW Rapid test or the NAAT/PCR Quest test).
Again, the advantage of the antigen test in this situation is that it will indicate if you are contagious (i.e., actively infective) and have less chance of showing positivity if you had been infected in the past.