COVID-19 Testing

Understanding your
COVID-19 testing options

vybe Clinician Reviewed

vybe urgent care is currently offering two forms of COVID-19 testing for patients.

  1.  Diagnostic tests: Will tell those who are sick or who have been exposed whether they have an active COVID-19 infection.
    • PCR test: For symptomatic patients. PCR tests begin with an online urgent care visit.  During the video visit, you will speak with a vybe clinician who can recommend treatment based on your symptoms
    • Rapid antigen test: For asymptomatic patients. All rapid tests require an appointment, which you may schedule at your nearest vybe urgent care location.  Each test is $75, self-pay by cash or credit card.
  2.  Antibody test: Determines if you’ve had prior COVID-19 infection and have built an antibody for the virus. Coronavirus antibody tests begin with an online urgent care visit.

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

Determining which test is right for you

Diagnostic tests:

The PCR test is for anyone actively experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as:

  • 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.

The rapid antigen test* is for those who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 and need clearance for work, travel (check your airline’s requirements), or medical procedures. Patients will know their status on the same day, and we post results to your Patient Portal.  We’re pleased to offer appointments for rapid antigen tests at all vybe locations, and apologize in advance that we’re unable to accept walk-ins for these tests.  

*Not covered by insurance and is available in limited quantities on a self-pay basis for $75.

Antibody test:

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.

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.

What locations can I visit for these COVID-19 tests?

COVID-19 rapid testing is available at all locations by appointment only. All other COVID tests begin with a virtual doctor visit. This will allow a vybe clinician to determine whether you need a PCR test or antibody blood test. At the end of your telemedicine visit, you’ll receive a referral to your nearest vybe urgent care coronavirus testing location. We offer a drive-up swab test, but the antibody test involves a blood draw and takes place inside our facility.

Also, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, we’ll be visiting neighborhoods throughout the city using a state-of-the-art truck that is uniquely designed to serve as a mobile pop-up clinic for COVID 19 testing. We’ll be traveling throughout the city to deliver COVID-19 testing and important services like flu vaccines to other communities, schools, and workplaces.

How long will it take to receive my results?

For PCR and antibody tests, you can typically expect to receive results in 3-7 days, though actual timing may vary based on the capacity of our lab partners.  If you’ve taken the rapid antigen test, your results will be available the same day.  We will only contact you by phone if your result is positive.  You may also find lab results in your patient portal. 

Diagnostic tests:

  • Negative: Continue to exercise precautions such as frequent hand washing/sanitizing, wearing a mask in public, social distancing, staying home as much as possible, and other CDC guideline 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:

  • 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, wearing a mask in public, 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.
  • Equivocal: Your test results could not be interpreted as positive or negative. You may get this response if the test detects an immune response but it’s unclear if the cause is COVID-19 or similar infections (the common cold is a type of coronavirus). You may wish to wait 14 days and repeat the test for more reliable results.

Is it possible to get an incorrect test result?

As with all diagnostic tests, it’s possible to receive an incorrect test result. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If your test result is negative, your vybe provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. Depending on your provider’s recommendation, this could result in an additional PCR test.

The rapid antigen test is highly accurate in detecting the coronavirus.  A positive result indicates infection with COVID-19.  In fact, this test is so sensitive it may detect very small amounts of the virus present.  A more frequent concern is a false negative.  Depending on the timing of the test, rapid antigen tests may have a slightly higher percentage of false negatives than a PCR test, but offer the advantage of quicker results.

For the coronavirus antibody test, here’s why you might get an incorrect result:

  • A false negative, possibly due to being tested too early during my illness for there to be detectible antibodies present.
  • False-positive, possibly due to detectable antibodies from previous coronavirus infections, but not to COVID-19.

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.

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 other 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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