COVID-19 testing has played a critical role in reigning in the pandemic. By identifying people who are infected with the virus, testing can nip the spread of the virus at its root and ensure the sick can receive the right medical treatment.
There are two main tests that use different ways of identifying the presence of the virus. One is molecular testing, which looks for the presence of the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2. This is more accurate but can take longer. The other is antigen testing, which detects the presence of proteins produced by the virus. While this is less accurate, this test provides much quicker results.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are many factors that ensure the success of testing. You need to be aware and prepared before taking a COVID-19 test.
COVID-19 Testing: The Dos
Schedule An Appointment In Advance
If you are getting tested at a doctor’s office or other healthcare setting, make an appointment in advance. This will help you avoid long wait times. Keep in mind your appointment details and arrive on time for a smooth testing process.
However, if you need the test results as soon as possible, urgent care centers offer COVID-19 testing without an appointment. Urgent care testing uses either antigen or molecular testing to give you same-day or next-day results.
Bring Your Identification
Most testing facilities require identification to verify your identity and information. Additionally, if you have insurance, bring your insurance card with you to the testing appointment. This may be required to get your test covered by insurance.
Be Prepared To Answer Questions
During the test, the doctor will be likely to ask for personal information. They may ask you about your symptoms, exposure history, and other relevant information. Be prepared to answer these questions for a smooth and quick testing process.
Be Ready To Wait
The testing process can take some time, so be patient. Bring a book, something to watch, or anything to pass the time in case of longer than normal waiting times.
COVID-19 Testing: The Don’ts
Don’t Eat or Drink Anything At Least 30 Minutes Before the Test
Consuming food and water before the test may affect the accuracy of the results. Eat or drink at least 30 minutes beforehand and bring snacks and water for AFTER the test.
Don’t Smoke or Vape At Least 30 Minutes Before the Test
Smoking or vaping can also affect your test results. Residue from the smoke can mix with the sample and lead to a false test result.
Don’t Use Any Nasal Spray At Least 30 Minutes Before the Test
Using a nasal spray can leave residue in your nose that can interfere with the collection of the sample for testing. Additionally, using nasal decongestants and taking antihistamines can also affect testing, leading to inaccurate results.
Don’t Bring Someone To Accompany You
Most testing sites don’t allow you to bring a companion due to COVID-19 safety protocols. This can put your friend or family member at unnecessary risk of exposure. Protect yourself and the people around you by taking the test by yourself.
When Should I Take a COVID-19 Test?
The best time to take a COVID-19 test depends on your individual circumstances. Here are some general guidelines for whether you should get tested:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and loss of taste or smell.
- If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 5 days after your exposure.
- If you are traveling internationally, you may need to get tested before you travel according to their requirements.
- If you are working in a healthcare setting or other high-risk setting, you may be required to get tested regularly.
If you are unsure about when to get tested for COVID-19, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your individual risk and recommend the best time to get tested.
COVID-19 Testing at an Urgent Care Center Near You
COVID-19 testing is crucial to controlling the spread and impact of the virus. It’s important to remember that some of your actions can affect the testing process and your results. Keep in mind these DOs and DON’Ts for a quick testing process and accurate results when you take a COVID-19 test.
Are you experiencing symptoms, have been exposed, or need test results as soon as possible? Urgent care COVID-19 testing can give you your results the same or next day.
Come and take a rapid test for the virus right now at Cardinal Urgent Care in King, North Carolina! Our skilled team of medical providers is ready to give any urgent medical care you need, including urgent care COVID-19 testing. Simply walk into our clinic any day of the week at normal business hours, no appointment needed! You may also call (336) 983-9111 for any questions or to let us know you’re coming.