COVID-19 Testing

Understanding your
COVID-19 testing options

vybe Clinician Reviewed

What COVID-19 tests are currently available?

vybe urgent care is currently offering two forms of COVID-19 testing, both of which go through a full lab analysis and are not “rapid” tests:

  • PCR (nasal swab) test: Will detect if you are actively infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Serum antibody IgG (blood test): Determines if you’ve had prior exposure to COVID-19 and have built an antibody for the virus. A positive result indicates prior exposure to the virus, even if you didn’t show symptoms. Since we’re still learning about COVID-19, it’s unclear if a positive antibody result can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last. For most viral illnesses, an antibody means prior exposure and some degree of immunity to future infection. There’s still much to learn about COVID-19.

vybe urgent care is not offering rapid “finger prick” tests. Once approved by the FDA and tested for accuracy, the finger prick antibody test will detect prior exposure to COVID-19, similar to the current serum antibody test. The finger prick test requires only 15 minutes to process, allowing a patient to leave a clinic knowing the result.

Which COVID-19 test is right for me?

The nasal swab test (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.

You may also receive this test if you’re a healthcare worker, first responder, or a vybe urgent care Occupational Medicine partner.

The antibody blood test (serum antibody IgG) is for confirming prior exposure to 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. 

  • If you previously had COVID-19 symptoms (fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, body aches) and have fully recovered for at least 14 days. 
  • If you received a positive test result for COVID-19 and have fully recovered without symptoms for at least 14 days.
  • If you believe you have come in contact with someone who had the COVID-19 virus. 

How are these tests administered?

  • Nasal swab: Requires a deep nasal swab, which is best administered by a health care professional. Most patients are unable to properly self-administer a nasal swab
  • Antibody blood 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?

All COVID-19 visits begin with a telemedicine visit. This will allow a vybe clinician to determine whether you need a nasal swab (PCR test) or an antibody (IgG) 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.

Schedule your online urgent care visit.

How long will it take to receive my results?

Generally, it will take 3-5 days to receive your results. However, depending on the testing demand, it can take up to 10 days. This time is required for a full lab analysis, and it makes these tests different from “rapid” tests whose accuracy is still being debated.  A vybe urgent care representative will contact you via phone to share your results and to answer any questions. You may expect to receive one of three possible results:

  • Positive: You produced antibodies to COVID-19 and have a high likelihood of prior infection. Some patients with past infections may not have experienced any symptoms. It is unclear if a positive test result means immunity against future COVID-19 infection. Please continue with frequent hand washing/sanitizing, wearing a mask in public, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible.
  • Negative: You 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. For the coronavirus antibody test, here 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.

What precautions do I take based on the results of these tests?

Nasal swab (PCR) for active infections:

  • 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.

Blood test (serum antibody IgG):

Regardless of your results, you should 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. Remember, COVID-19 is a new infection, and it is unclear if a positive antibody definitively offers immunity.

Click here to see the latest updates from the CDC about COVID-19 testing.

What local resources are available for plasma donation?

Donated plasma is undergoing research and clinical trials for use as a treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.  As of May 2020, these trials are actively recruiting for research purposes but may require some screening questions to qualify.  You may find more details using the links below:

Interested in getting tested? Schedule your telemedicine visit with a vybe clinician.

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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