COVID-19 Testing

Understanding your
COVID-19 testing options

vybe Clinician Reviewed

vybe urgent care offers viral tests to detect active COVID-19 infection and antibody tests to detect prior exposure. With extended center 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. All test results are uploaded to your patient portal.

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

Viral Tests:

  • Rapid tests: These tests provide same-day results and can be performed in minutes. Types of rapid tests offered at vybe include antigen and molecular (NAATs including RT-PCR). These tests are offered on a self-pay basis and are not covered by insurance.
  • Lab tests: While these tests are conducted at a vybe center, they are shipped to a lab for results. Typically, it takes 3–5 days for the lab to process test results. At this time, vybe is only offering RT-PCR lab tests. Lab tests are typically covered by insurance, however, we recommend patients verify any out-of-pocket costs with their insurance provider.

Antibody tests:

An antibody test (also known as a serology test) can detect antibodies to COVID-19 in your blood—it is not used to detect active infection. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes to help fight infection and protect you from getting sick in the future. This test is covered by insurance.

What locations can I visit for COVID-19 tests?

vybe offers COVID-19 testing 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.

When to get a viral test

If you have had exposure to COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms, a viral test is recommended. Common symptoms of COVID are:

  • 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.

If you need a COVID-19 test for work clearance, school, medical procedure, or travel (check your airline’s requirements), a rapid test may be your best option. All rapid tests provide same-day results, which are available in your vybe Patient Portal. Please consult with your airline/travel destination, school, or work to ensure you’re getting the appropriate test.

When to get an antibody test

Antibody tests help learn about how human immune systems defend against the virus, as well as learn about population-level protection. If you get an antibody test after receiving a vaccine, you might test positive by some (but not all) antibody tests. This depends on which type of antibody the specific test detects.

Antibody testing is not currently recommended to determine:

  • If you have a current infection.
  • If you have immunity to COVID following vaccination.
  • Whether you need to get a booster following vaccination.
  • Whether you need to quarantine after a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19.

Differences among viral tests:

  • Antigen tests: Detect the presence of a specific viral COVID-19 antigen. Antigen tests generally have similar specificity but are less sensitive than most NAAT tests. Most are less expensive than NAATs and can provide results in minutes, making them useful in screening programs to quickly identify persons who are likely to have COVID-19. Because of the performance characteristics of antigen tests, it may be necessary for a follow-up test at the discretion of your provider. 
  • NAAT tests (molecular): High-sensitivity, high-specificity tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection. NAATs detect one or more viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) genes and indicate a current infection, or can indicate a recent infection due to prolonged viral RNA detection. Different types of NAAT tests offered at vybe include:
    • RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction)
    • NEAR (Nicking endonuclease amplification reaction)
    • LAMP (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification)

How are these tests administered?

  • Viral 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.

 Next steps after receiving a viral test:

  • 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.

 Next steps after receiving an antibody test:

  • 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.

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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