COVID-19 Testing

Understanding your
COVID-19 testing options

vybe Clinician Reviewed

vybe urgent care offers various tests for diagnosis and screening for COVID-19. With extended office hours, online appointments, and 10+ urgent care locations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, we’re here to provide you and your family with reliable, convenient care. If you’re experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you may prefer to schedule a virtual visit prior to coming in for a test.

vybe urgent care is currently offering these COVID-19 testing options for patients.

  1. If you’re symptomatic or feel you’ve had significant exposure – you’ll want a test that includes a clinician visit. Both these tests are processed by an outside lab and may take several days to get results.
    • PCR lab test:  Patients may prefer to begin their RT-PCR test with an online urgent care visit, though we gladly take appointments for in-center testing. During your visit, you will speak with a vybe clinician who can recommend treatment based on your symptoms. Commercial lab-based RT-PCR tests are covered by insurance and should be at no out-of-pocket cost to patients.
    •  Antibody screening: Determines if you’ve had a prior COVID-19 infection and have built an antibody for the virus. You may schedule an appointment at any nearby vybe urgent care location
  2. If you want a rapid test and don’t need a clinician visit—these rapid tests are processed on-site for same-day results.
    • PCR rapid test:  Rapid RT-PCR tests are available for $150 by appointment.
    • Rapid antigen test:  This test is available by appointment for $75.  

vybe urgent care is not offering rapid “finger prick” tests or saliva tests.

What locations can I visit for COVID-19 tests?

vybe offers COVID-19 testing by appointment at all locations. Please refer to the specific location you plan to visit to see available testing options. 

If you’re not feeling well, you may prefer to begin with a virtual doctor visit.  From the comfort of home, a vybe clinician will evaluate your symptoms and guide your care.  

Determining which test or visit is right for you

Have you had significant exposure to COVID-19, or are you experiencing COVID symptoms?

vybe recommends a clinician visit, after which you may receive an RT-PCR lab test. Here are the symptoms frequently associated with COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • The recent loss of your sense of taste and/or smell
  • If you believe you have recently (within 14 days) have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, we recommend getting tested.

Do you need a COVID-19 clearance for work, school, medical procedure, or travel (check your airline’s requirements)?

You may wish to select a rapid test – either a rapid RT-PCR or a rapid antigen test. Typically, patients request these rapid tests without a clinician visit.  Both tests deliver same-day results, which are available in your vybe Patient Portal.  Please consult with your physician, school, or work to ensure you’re getting the appropriate test.  Travel requirements are subject to change, so please check with both your airline and destination to see which test to choose.

Which rapid test – PCR or antigen?

There’s no right or best answer here since needs vary widely for each patient.  The rapid RT-PCR test is generally considered a more sensitive test for patients without symptoms and is often the first choice for travel.  The rapid antigen test is popular as screening before a group activity or for return to work clearance.  However, since neither test is covered by insurance when provided outside a full visit, the cost may be a factor.  The rapid antigen test is $75 vs. the rapid PCR test which costs $150.

Are you curious about prior exposure to COVID-19?

You may wish to have an antibody screening. The antibody test (serum antibody IgG) is for confirming prior infection with the virus. This test is used to detect the presence of antibodies, not to diagnose an active infection. vybe sends your blood sample to a laboratory for analysis. Although vybe can perform this test at any time, it can take up to 3 weeks for antibodies to be fully detectable after an infection. The antibody test is for those who:

  • Previously had COVID-19 symptoms (fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, body aches) and have fully recovered for at least 14 days. 
  • Received a positive test result for COVID-19 and have fully recovered without symptoms for at least 14 days.
  • Seek evidence that their vaccination has been effective.

How are these tests administered?

  • Diagnostic tests: Requires a nasal swab, which is best administered by a healthcare professional.
  • Antibody test: This is a typical blood draw, similar to what you may have experienced for other tests or during an annual physical.

How long will it take to receive my results?

For the non-rapid PCR and antibody test, results are sent to an outside lab, so turnaround time may vary depending on the current demand. It may take several days to get results.  For both rapid antigen and rapid PCR tests, results are available on the same day. We’ll only contact you by phone if your result is positive. You may also find lab results in your patient portal.

PCR and antigen test results:

  • Negative: Continue to exercise precautions such as frequent hand washing/sanitizing and other CDC guidelines and recommendations.
  • Positive: Stay home, separate yourself from others in your home, continue to monitor your symptoms, call 911 if you have an emergency.

Antibody test results:

  • Positive: Indicates the presence of antibodies to COVID-19 and a high likelihood of prior infection. Some people with past infections may not have experienced any symptoms. It is unclear if a positive test result means immunity against future COVID-19 infection. You should encourage healthy preventive measures at home and in the workplace, including frequent hand washing/sanitizing, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible.
  • Negative: Indicates tested negative for the COVID-19 IgG antibody. This means you have not been infected with COVID-19. Please note, it may take up to 21 days to produce detectable levels of antibodies following infection. If you had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the past 3 weeks and tested negative, repeat testing in 1-2 weeks may yield a positive result.

Results from COVID-19 testing may be reassuring and offer some peace of mind. However, they should not diminish your commitment to safe practices to help stop the virus from spreading.

Why would I need testing when people are getting vaccinated?

Testing and the vaccine go hand in hand.  Until we develop herd immunity and we know more about the virus variants, testing remains an important way to understand your status.  We are still learning to what degree those who are vaccinated may still be able to spread the virus while remaining asymptomatic themselves.

Reasons why you should get tested:

  1. Know if your sickness was the coronavirus: Our patients are asking questions like, “I was sick a month ago. Was it possible I had the coronavirus?” A COVID-19 antibody blood test can provide answers. This test will indicate with high accuracy whether you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, even if you didn’t experience symptoms.
  2. Know your status: Depending on your role, some employers may ask you for a COVID-19 test before letting you back to work. Also, for anyone who needs surgery, some surgical centers are asking patients to prove they are illness-free, including no current infection with the coronavirus.
  3. Peace of mind: Knowing your status may help you make better-informed decisions to help contain the virus and keep yourself and others safe.
  4. Be part of the cure: After testing positive for antibodies, you may want to consider a plasma donation to an institution that will use it to explore new treatments.
  5. Public health: The more people who get tested, the smarter we can be about managing the spread of the virus in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Ready to visit a vybe?

With convenient Philadelphia area locations, stop by a local vybe urgent care today, and we’ll get you back on your feet.

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