Everything In One PlacE
Your One Stop COVID-19 Testing Lab
Our concierge testing services mean getting tested has never been easier or quicker. Simply choose which type of test you want, how quickly you want your results, and then Self-Register & Schedule your appointment (even same day!). You’ll receive a login for our Patient Portal, and we will take care of the rest.
PCR & Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Testing
Offering State-of-the-Art Polymerase Chain Reaction & Antigen Testing, with 24 Hour turnaround times available and convenient options for sample collections. (Even DIY!)
COVID-19 Testing For Traveling
Whether you’re heading out on a trip and need a statement of health, or just returning home looking to protect your loved ones, our testing services are standing by at the ready.
COVID-19 Testing For Organizations
Lab Services provides On-Site Testing for Employees of Businesses, Students of Universities, Residents of Assisted Living, and more. We make protecting your people easy.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus, which can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms, was first identified in Wuhan, China, and has now been surfaced in over 219 countries in what is the worst pandemic in over a century. Even now in 2021, clinical research continues to reveal new information about the characterization, pathways and mechanisms through the virus attacks the human body. At this point in time, we do know COVID-19 to be transmitted via tiny droplets of fluid expelled from the body as a result of breathing, coughing, and talking. Physical contact, such as with a door handle, and other more typical means of disease transmission are also additional ways in which COVID-19 spreads from person to person. An infected person is contagious and capable of spreading the disease to others when showing signs or symptoms of being sick (e.g., fever, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, etc.); however, it is important to note that COVID-19 is also understood to be transmissible after an individual contacts the virus but before they begin to show symptoms. This is the reason why testing for COVID-19 in a precautionary capacity after potential exposure is essential for containing the spread of the disease.
COVID-19 Testing Options
- CareStart™ COVID-19 Antigen Test
- PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) COVID-19 Test
CareStart™ COVID-19 Antigen Test Kit
The CareStart™ COVID-19 Antigen test is a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay intended for the qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal or anterior nasal swab specimens directly collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within five days of symptom onset. Testing is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. §263a, that meet the requirements to perform moderate, high or waived complexity tests. This test is authorized for use at the Point of Care (POC), i.e., in patient care settings operating under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Compliance, or Certificate of Accreditation.
PCR COVID-19 Test
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is performed to detect genetic material from a specific organism – in this context, the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. A PCR test detects the presence of the virus when you are actively infected at the time the test sample is given. The test is also capable of detecting fragments of virus even after you are no longer infected. PCR testing is the most accurate and reliable means of diagnosing the presence of a viral infection.
For the reasons above, PCR is the test used by healthcare providers to diagnose people who are currently infected with COVID-19. Outside of clinical diagnostic settings, PCR should also be used for general whenever possible.
How does the PCR Test compare with other available COVID-19 tests?
There are two main categories of COVID-19 tests – diagnostic tests and antibody tests. Diagnostic tests tell you if you have an active (current) COVID-19 infection. Antibody tests tell you that you already had COVID-19.
- PCR test: This tests for the presence of the actual virus’s genetic material or its fragments as it breaks down. This is the most reliable and accurate test for detecting active infection.
- Antigen test: This test detects bits of proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – known as antigens – but does not directly detect the virus. itself. Antigen tests are what are commonly referred to as the “rapid test” because they take as little as 15 to 30 minutes to produce results. However, the tradeoff for these faster results is that the antigen tests are less accurate than a PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are most accurate when used a few days after the onset of symptoms, because this is when the highest concentration of viral material is present in the body. Because this test is not as accurate as a PCR test, if an antigen test is negative, your healthcare provider may order a PCR test to confirm the negative test result.
When should I seek emergency care if I have COVID-19?
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Can someone test negative and later test positive for a viral COVID-19 test?
Yes, it is possible. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during this illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. Even if you test negative, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others. See Testing for Current Infection for more information.
What is the difference between a PCR test and an antibody test?
The test for SARS-CoV-2 virus (a coronavirus that caused the pandemic) is a molecular test typically collected with a swab from your nose and/or throat. Positive result means that you have a current and ongoing viral infection that must be treated ASAP. An antibody test is a blood test which determines whether you have been exposed to the virus in the past. A positive result indicates that you may have recovered from COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) and mounted an immune system response that may protect you from getting sick after another exposure to SARS-CoV-2 virus. You can find more good information from Mayo Clinic.
Is testing necessary now that the pandemic is almost over?
Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is likely here to stay, and future “waves” are inevitable. This is especially of concern with the recent emergence of new strains, and uncertainty surrounding the efficacy of our current vaccines against new threats. This is a long fight that will continue to disturb our live’s and health for the foreseeable future.
This fall’s flu and cold season is likely to be especially difficult as the addition of the coronavirus to this equation could cause another wave of pandemonium around the globe. Testing is critical to immediately contain the virus to the extent possible.
How long after exposure do symptoms appear?
A myriad of complex factors determine how long after exposure an infected individual will present the earliest symptoms, but the onset of symptoms typically occur between 2 and 14 days after contraction of the virus.