There are various tests available to diagnose or screen COVID-19 infection, and the antigen test is one of them.
It looks for antigens — a type of protein — to diagnose infection. A sample for the tests is collected through a throat or nasal swab.
Almost all centers for COVID testing in Tustin offer the antigen test and provide results within 15 minutes.
Let’s understand more about this test!
COVID-19 Antigen Test
The antigen tests help in understanding whether the person has COVID-19. It is mainly used in screening a COVID-19 infection.
Diagnostic tests are used to detect an infection in a person who has symptoms or has exposure to the disease. For COVID-19, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), or just PCR, is the gold standard for diagnosis.
When the mentioned tests are not available, the COVID-19 antigen test can help diagnose infection in a symptomatic patient. However, the antigen test has a high risk of false-negative results. This means you can get a negative result even if you have an active infection.
Screening is looking for an infection in people who don’t have symptoms. As the antigen tests provide faster results at a relatively lower cost, it is used in screening masses to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection. However, follow-up tests, such as PCR, may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
When Should One Get The Antigen Test?
As mentioned before, the antigen test is usually used for diagnosis when PCR tests are unavailable. THe COVID-19 antigen test is often used for screening.
Situations where screening may help include:
- When you have attended a large gathering or been to high-risk places
- When you have come in close contact with an infected person
- When you work or live in places where many people live together, such as homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and nursing homes
- When you need proof of a negative test for travel or work.
How to get tested
Your doctor can prescribe the COVID-10 antigen test. The test is also available without a prescription at health clinics, pharmacies, or for at-home use.
In most cases, the sample is taken, and the results are given at the same location. This is also called point-of-care testing.
Most centers offering fast COVID tests in Tustin can analyze the antigen test within 15 minutes.
However, in some cases, the sample can be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Can One Take The Test At Home?
Yes. Kits are available to take the COVID-19 antigen test at home. Some are offered over-the-counter, while others are available with a prescription.
These kits are curated for single-use and provide results within 15 minutes.
How Much Does The Test Cost?
The COVID-19 antigen tests are comparatively cheaper than other tests, including the PCR test. However, the cost may depend on where the test is conducted and whether your insurance covers it.
At-home kits may range between $25 to $50. If your doctor prescribes it, the test may be covered by your insurance.