So you’re considering taking an antigen COVID test in Los Angeles. We’re glad you’re taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. While we’re happy to give you an antigen COVID test no matter where you are located in the Los Angeles area, we want you to have all the information you need before deciding which test you need, whether you should get a test, and when you need to get a test:
What Is an Antigen COVID Test?
An antigen test is also called a rapid test. These tests involve using nasal or oral swabs to get a sample and detect an active viral infection. You can get your results within about 12 minutes of our professional administering your test! Mobile COVID Testing! Quick, easy, convenient service is what we offer.
When Should You Get an Antigen COVID Test?
There are other testing options available, and depending on your situation, an antigen COVID test may not be the right choice. Here are some examples of when you should get an antigen test:
You’re Experiencing COVID Symptoms
If you have COVID symptoms, you need to get tested. Ideally, it’s best to go to a testing center within seven days of exposure. However, no matter when you start showing possible COVID symptoms, it’s important to check whether you’re positive or not.
You’ve Been Exposed to Someone With COVID Symptoms
Even if you’re vaccinated, you should still get a test after you are in contact with someone who’s contracted COVID-19. You should isolate yourself for five to seven days, then go get a test. This ensures you will not get a false negative, as antigen tests are less sensitive than other tests.
You’re Going to a Safe Gathering, But Want Reassurance
If you’re vaccinated and going to a gathering full of other vaccinated individuals, it’s okay to take a less sensitive test for extra reassurance. This ensures everyone will feel comfortable, and it’s always a great precaution. The fewer risks you take, the better.
When Shouldn’t You Get an Antigen Test?
There are two main circumstances when you’ll want to avoid antigen tests. While antigen tests are fast and convenient, you shouldn’t rely on them in every situation. Here are two reasons you shouldn’t get a rapid antigen test:
You’re Traveling Internationally
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need to get a PCR test. It’s a requirement, not a recommendation. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests are more sensitive than antigen tests, meaning they’ll detect even tiny amounts of the COVID virus. The only drawback of getting a PCR test is that they will detect trace amounts of the COVID virus even after you’re already passed the contagious stage, so you should consider how long ago you started showing symptoms if you receive a positive test after quarantining for the recommended amount of time.
Your Test Results Clash With Your Current Health Status
An antigen test, as aforementioned, is less sensitive than a PCR test. If you get negative test
results from a rapid test but you’re still displaying symptoms, you should get a PCR test to confirm your antigen test results. When in doubt, PCR tests are always the way to go. The CDC actually refers to them as the “gold standard.”
Are There Other Types of COVID tests?
NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests) for COVID detected ribonucleic acid sequences, which make up the virus’s genetic material. When using NAATs, a professional will get a sample from your upper or lower respiratory tract. NAAT tests are highly sensitive because they involve making copies of any virus detected in your sample, thus making it hard to receive a false negative.
This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm. The Wellness Firm services include workplace flu clinics, flu vaccinations, onsite rapid corporate employee Covid testing, the physical exam for employment, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. Founded by local Firemen, The Wellness Firm has been providing a safer Tampa Bay since 2006.