Types of Covid-19 Tests
Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.
A viral test is used to diagnose a person with current infection with the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
An antibody test helps determine if a person was infected with Covid-19 virus in the past.
Viral Test (nucleic acid & antigen tests)
A viral test tells if you have current infection with SARS-CoV-2. Viral tests check samples from your respiratory system such as a swab from the inside of your nose for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or are not sick but have had unprotected prolonged close contact with someone with Covid-19, you should choose a nucleic acid diagnostic test.
Antibody Test (serological test)
Antibody test checks your blood for antibodies that your body produces in response to past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. It can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. If you are not sick but think you may have been infected with Covid-19 virus in the past, but not sure, choose an antibody test.
Who should get tested?
According to NCDHHS (North Carolina Dept of Health and Human Services) the following should get tested for COVID-19:
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19.
- Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
- Groups of some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
- People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
- People from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, childcare workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.)
- Health care workers or first responders.
- People who are at higher risk of severe illness.
- People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others.
Most people who get COVID-19 recover without needing medical care. If you are experiencing severe, life threating symptoms (for example, severe difficulty breathing, altered thinking, blue lips), seek immediate medical care or call 9-1-1.
If you fall into any of the categories listed above, it is important that you talk to a doctor about getting tested for Covid-19. Request telemedicine visit with one of our doctors to discuss your options.
Symptoms of Covid-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the flu. Symptoms are typically mild to moderate, but there have been cases of severe illness and death due to the virus. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Understanding Covid-19 test results
Positive for COVID-19 Viral Test:
Most likely you DO currently have an active COVID-19 infection and can give the virus to others. Stay home and follow CDC guidance on steps to take if you are sick
Negative for COVID-19 Viral Test:
Most likely you DO NOT currently have an active COVID-19 infection. It is also possible that your were tested very early in your infection and could test positive later. It is also possible you could be exposed later and get sick If you have symptoms, you should keep monitoring symptoms and follow CDC guidance or seek medical advice about staying home and if you need to get tested again others.
Positive for COVID-19 Antibody:
- You likely have HAD a COVID-19 infection.
- You may be protected from re-infection (have immunity), but this cannot be said with certainty-scientists are conducting studies now to provide more information.
- Take steps to protect yourself and others
- If you have symptoms and meet other guidelines for testing, you will need another type of test-viral test.
- If you do not have symptoms, you likely do not have an active infection.
Negative for COVID-19 Antibody:
- You likely NEVER HAD (or have not yet developed antibodies to) COVID-19 infection.
- Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people who are infected may not ever develop antibodies.
- You could still get COVID-19. Take steps to protect yourself and others.
- If you have symptom and meet other guidelines for testing, you need another type of test-viral test to confirm an active COVID-19 infection.
Telemedicine/Virtual Visits for Covid-19
Eastway Medical Clinic and Urgent Care offers Covid-19 Tests to those that qualify per CDC guidelines. If you wish to be tested, or evaluated for testing, schedule a telemedicine appointment with us, and one of our physicians will evaluate you via Video-chat or Phone in the comfort of your home or office. Subsequently, you drive to our drive-up testing center located in front of our office to have a nasal swab specimen taken for Covid-19 virus testing. Blood sample will be obtained from those requesting antibody testing to determine past infection with Covid-19 virus.
Insurance coverage for Covid-19 Tests and related office visits
Health insurers have voluntarily waived cost sharing for testing on a temporary basis. All comprehensive health insurance plans pick up 100% of the cost of coronavirus testing, as well as any visit to the emergency room, doctor’s office or urgent care center that may have led to that testing. Telemedicine or Virtual visits related to Covid-19 are also covered. Call your insurance provider for verification prior to your visit for up-to- date information. COVID-19 Tests and related doctors’ office visits are covered via CARES Act Provider Relief Fund with no out-pocket payment for uninsured patients.
Questions or Concerns about Covid-19 Testing
If you have questions about COVID-19, need testing for COVID-19, or would like to speak with one of our staff members about getting tested call 704-360 8893, or book an appointment online. We have virtual appointments for your safety: Monday-Saturday. We serve patients from Charlotte NC, Harrisburg NC, Concord NC, Mint Hill NC, Matthews NC, Belmont NC, Pineville NC, Kannapolis NC, Monroe NC, and Mt Holly NC.