As we approach the winter months, COVID-19 cases are set to rise, making it as important as ever for people to get tested if they have symptoms or have been in close contact with a positive case of the virus. COVID-19 testing is widely available at a range of different facilities. Your personal circumstances will determine what test you need and the type of location best for you to get tested.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus and is easily transmitted between people. A majority of people only experience minor symptoms; however, it can cause serious illness and long-term disability in some people.
Rapid, accurate, and easy-to-use COVID testing was introduced in 2020 to help reduce the spread of the virus.COVID-19 testing is available at a number of different settings and facilities, including drive-through testing facilities and urgent care walk-in clinics, such as EMC Express Care in North Richland Hills, TX. Self-tests for COVID-19 are also available online, at pharmacies, retail stores, and local health departments, or can be ordered for free through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
What COVID-19 Test Should I Get?
There are different types of COVID-19 tests available that either check for current infection (viral tests) or detect if there are antibodies present in the body to help protect against the virus (antibody tests). The two main types of viral tests are nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) and antigen tests, which both involve testing specimens from the nose or mouth. Your particular circumstances will determine which test is the best option for you:
- NAATs, such as PCR-based tests, are usually tested in a laboratory. These tests are considered the most reliable for people with or without symptoms. They detect viral genetic material, which may stay in the body for up to 90 days after testing positive. (NAAT tests are not usually recommended if you have tested positive in the last 90 days).
- Antigen tests produce rapid results (usually within 15-30 minutes) and don’t require lab testing. However, they can be/ less reliable than NAATs, especially for people who do not have symptoms. An antigen test may need to be repeated because a single, negative antigen test result does not rule out infection. Also, a follow-up NAAT may be recommended to confirm an antigen test result.
- Antibody tests are not used to identify current infection but can help to indicate a previous infection and therefore, check whether a person has any immunity to COVID-19. The test involves taking a very small sample of blood, which is then analyzed in a lab. Results are usually available within 24-48 hours.
When Is COVID-19 Testing Necessary?
Testing is an essential way of preventing the spread of COVID-19. It allows people to determine if they are infected with the virus, regardless of whether they have any symptoms. This can help to protect those that are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from the virus.
Up-to-date guidance for testing can be found on the CDC website. However, it is recommended that you get tested if you:
- Have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, runny nose or congestion, the new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Were exposed to COVID-19. (If you do not have symptoms, you should wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing.)
- Are in certain high-risk settings. (Testing may be required as part of a screening testing program.)
You may also want to consider testing before having close contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19, especially if you are currently in a community/area with a medium or high COVID-19 level.
Drive-Through Testing for COVID-19
COVID-19 testing is widely available in every state. If you are unsure where your nearest COVID-19 testing facility is, contact your healthcare provider, or local health department, or check the CDC website for more information.
COVID-19 drive-through testing provides an accurate and safe testing experience from the comfort and privacy of your car. This method of testing can help reduce transmission of the virus and the number of people visiting clinics and other facilities to get tested for COVID-19.
Drive-through testing is a quick process, typically taking less than 10 minutes. It is carried out by a trained healthcare provider while you remain seated in your car. When arriving at your drive-through testing facility, your provider will first record your personal information. You will then be directed to the testing area, where a medical professional utilizing PPE will collect a mucus sample from your nose and/or the back of your throat to send for analysis. Once the sample has been safely collected, you are able to go straight home. The sample is sent off to a laboratory for analysis, and you can expect results usually within 24-48 hours of your test.
What Other COVID-19 Test Options Are There?
If you are looking for COVID-19 testing, EMC Express Care provides a range of additional options to ensure you get accurate results, as quickly as possible. We provide:
- Rapid In-House Molecular COVID Testing –provides accurate results in as little as 15 minutes. By appointment only.
- Rapid PCR – In-house RT-PCR respiratory panel for travel, back to school, or back to work that provides same-day results. By appointment only.
- Send-Out PCR Test – The sample is sent to the lab with results available in 24-36 hours. No appointment is required.
- Mobile Lab Testing–Only available for self-pay patients due to testing machine constraints.
- Post-COVID Return to Play Evaluation– Includes a review of symptoms (fevers, chest pain, palpitations, difficulty breathing) and a physical examination. (A swab test is not performed.) No appointment is required.
The CDC website has all the latest information on COVID-19 and getting tested. You can also contact EMC Express Care, your healthcare provider, or your local health department for more information.
COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing Near Me in Fort Worth, TX
For quick and accurate COVID-19 testing, visit EMC Express Care. We provide a variety of testing options, including drive-through testing, Rapid In-House Molecular COVID testing, and Rapid PCR testing, to ensure you get your results as quickly as possible.
At EMC Express Care, we deliver prompt, high-quality medical care at our walk-in clinic in North Richland Hills. To learn more, call us today at (817) 503-8800, or simply visit our walk-in clinic, open daily from 10 am to 8 pm.