Even though the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming more prevalent, it’s still important to test people for the disease before they’re allowed to return to work or school. The traditional COVID-19 test can take up to three days for results; whereas results from a COVID rapid test from Trinity Medical Laboratories in Marlton, NJ are significantly quicker.
How Fast Is a COVID Rapid Test?
SARS-COV-2 Antibody Detection Kit
Our rapid test for COVID-19 tests for IgM, which is the antibody that develops in the acute infection stage of COVID-19 and is detectable at about three days following the disease’s onset, and IgC, which is detectable during the middle and late stages of the disease.
IgM disappears within approximately two months after the infection initially occurs, but IgC does not disappear, indicating a possible previous infection. Our SARS-COV-2 Antibody Detection Kit can provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
How the Rapid Test Works
Using the general pattern of antibody production in a person’s immune response to a COVID-19 infection, the COVID rapid test is able to determine if it’s likely that the infection is present or was recently present to allow quarantine decisions to be made. If the test indicates that both IgM and IgC are present, it’s probable that the person has an active COVID infection that is somewhere between the 15th and 20th day after initially contracting it.
If only IgM is present, the person is likely earlier in the infection process, having been infected for between 10 and 15 days. If only IgC is present, then the person has passed the infectious stage at about 20 to 25 days post-infection and is no longer considered a threat to spread the disease. However, it’s important to know that a previous infection was likely present so that contract tracing can be conducted to determine who else may be infected.
Who Should Get a Rapid Test?
People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can get a rapid test, followed by a traditional PCR test, which actually identifies the RNA that’s responsible for the virus. Since many people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, or symptom-free, a rapid test can also determine if the antibodies are present as long as they’ve passed the 10-day mark after infection. If they’re still in the latent period between one and 10 days, the rapid test will appear to be negative.
This means that a negative COVID rapid test could provide a false sense of security if you’ve actually been infected with the virus, but aren’t yet in the phase where the IgM antibody can be detected. In this case, you may want to get re-tested at 10 or 12 days post-exposure to verify that you remain negative. Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 in any capacity, getting a rapid test is a good idea.
Applications of a Rapid Test
There are several applications of a rapid test for COVID-19, even as vaccination becomes more widespread. The following are appropriate applications for a COVID-19 rapid test:
- Primary medical institution screening
- Suspected test case within an area of an epidemic
- An early test for a person who presents with a fever
- A determination of when a person is no longer contagious
- Workplace requirements
- School requirements
- Travel requirements
If you’re using the rapid test to determine that you’re no longer contagious, you should have two negative rapid tests that are taken 24 hours apart. This will verify the absence of the IgM antibody for two tests in a row, which indicates that you are no longer capable of spreading the disease. While a rapid test may be acceptable for some forms of travel, many airlines and countries require a PCR test in addition to a rapid test.
Benefits of the SARS-COV-2 Antibody Detection Kit
Not all rapid tests are the same, so you want to make sure you’re using one that has been proven to be reliable so that you get the most accurate results possible. Not only does our SARS-COV-2 Antibody Detection Kit provide quick results, but it also has other benefits as well, including:
This rapid test kit provides accurate results based on the presence of three specific antigens, which are the SARS-COV-2 spike protein, the SARS-COV-2 RBD, and the SARS-COV-2 nucleocapsid protein. These three antigens allow testers to determine not only whether an infection is likely currently present, but also if the patient probably had a recent infection, but is no longer contagious. This is helpful in determining when someone can return to school or work or is allowed to travel.
The test has the unique anti-interference ability that reduces the odds of a false negative. It has anti-interference ability to hemoglobin, triglyceride, and bilirubin samples, among others.
The SARS-COV-2 Antibody rapid test accepts 0.9% physiological saline rather than the sample diluent, which saves money on both the cost of the diluent and transportation fees.
There are no special environmental requirements for the rapid test to be conducted, and it can test whole blood, fingertip blood, plasma, or serum, which means you don’t have to go to great lengths to get a sample or to prepare a patient for testing. Suspected patients infected with COVID-19 can be identified through the rapid test within 15 minutes, reducing anxiety for the patient and administration time for the medical provider.
Symptoms of COVID-19
COVID-19 symptoms will begin to appear at between five and 10 days following the initial infection, and the Center for Disease Control recommends that people experiencing symptoms should get tested with a rapid test or PCR test five days after their symptoms first appear. This will put you at about 10 days post-infection, which is the time when the IgM antibody starts to spike in your system, indicating you are infected.
The following symptoms are indications of a COVID-19 infection:
- Fever with or without chills
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Loss of taste or smell (that was not previously present)
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Anyone exhibiting the following symptoms of COVID-19 should seek immediate emergency medical care at an emergency room:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pain or pressure that does not go away
- Confusion (that was not previously present)
- Inability to stay awake
- Inability to wake
- Blue, gray, or pale skin, nail beds, or lips
Due to the fact that many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other conditions such as influenza, a test for COVID-19 is recommended. However, you should talk to your physician if you’re experiencing these symptoms to make sure venturing out to a testing center is the appropriate course of action for you. In some cases, they may recommend you stay at home and treat the symptoms to avoid potentially exposing other members of the community.
Where to Get a Rapid Test for COVID
Our laboratories work with numerous medical facilities in and around New Jersey, and we have sold rapid tests for COVID to dozens more. You can get a rapid test from community-based health facilities, pharmacies, and retail companies, which makes it convenient for nearly everyone who needs a test, to get one. You can find a testing center near you by visiting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website or by contacting your doctor for a referral.
There’s no charge for COVID-19 tests at facilities that are contracted through the HHS. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides free COVID-19 testing for anyone in the United States, even if you’re uninsured. Some test sites will not provide you with a test unless you are experiencing symptoms; however, others are providing tests to satisfy workplace or school requirements. Be sure to ask whether you’ll be able to get a test or not if you don’t have symptoms.
What to do After a Positive Test
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a COVID rapid test, the best action you can take is to stay home and quarantine yourself from other members of your family. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild in nature and will resolve within two to three weeks without medical intervention. Of course, you’ll want to stay hydrated and take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed by your doctor to control your fever and ease your body aches.
As much as possible, keep to a single room that’s away from other members of your household, including pets, and if you can, use a separate restroom. If it’s necessary for you to be around other people, wear a mask, or even two to make sure the fit around your mouth and nose is tight. Let anyone you’ve possibly exposed know that you have tested positive for COVID-19 and suggest they also get tested for infection with a rapid test.
Monitor your symptoms carefully and stay in contact with your physician to ensure you get timely medical care if it becomes necessary. If you have tested positive, but do not have symptoms, it’s still important to stay as isolated as possible until you have two consecutive negative tests taken 24 hours apart. You can still spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms, so take steps to minimize your interaction with the public by using delivery services.
When to Return to Work or School
While two negative rapid tests taken 24 hours apart can show that you’re no longer contagious, the CDC also recommends waiting a minimum of 10 days from the last major symptoms. It’s even better to ensure that all symptoms of COVID-19 have fully resolved, but a cough lingers for some patients, so a test may be most beneficial in these cases.
If you’re not experiencing symptoms, but have tested positive for the virus through a rapid test or PCR test, you can discontinue quarantine measures 10 days after you receive your positive test or when you’ve had two negative tests taken 24 hours apart. However, if you’re considered a severely immunocompromised person, you should wait until 20 days have passed since you received a positive test, just to be on the safe side. Consult your doctor, if you’re not sure.
Order Tests Today
If you’re a medical facility that wants to provide rapid tests for COVID-19, we can provide you with 40 tests per SARS-COV-2 Antibody Detection Kit. Contact Trinity Medical Laboratories in Marlton, NJ to place your rapid test order today.