Test Types and Explanations:
COVID-19 PCR test – Also called a molecular test, this COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample.
COVID-19 Antigen Test – This COVID-19 test detects certain proteins in the virus. Using a long nasal swab to get a fluid sample, some antigen tests can produce results in minutes. Depending on the situation, the doctor may recommend a PCR test to confirm a negative antigen test result.
COVID-19 Antibody – COVID-19 antibody testing to assess for previous exposure to COVID-19. An antibody test can detect antibodies that developed as a result of exposure to COVID-19.