While we continue waiting for an accessible vaccine for COVID-19, the fight against the spread of this highly contagious respiratory disease continues on. At Wellspire Medical Group, we offer comprehensive COVID-19 testing for individuals looking for rapid COVID-19 tests and COVID-19 PCR tests in Humble, TX. Our team is dedicated to your safety and is taking extra precautions in order to provide these tests without the risk of cross-contamination. All of our tests are completed in a drive-thru setting, allowing you to be tested from the safety of your vehicle. While the rapid tests have results available in less than 30 minutes, the PCR test results will take anywhere between 24-72 hours to process.
COVID-19 testing makes a tremendous impact when it comes to helping contain the spread of the COVID virus. However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the different types of testing that are available. Below is information to help understand more about the available testing and information for where you can get your COVID test.
What types of COVID tests are available, and what makes them different?
Antigen Tests: When you hear about rapid COVID testing, that is in reference to an antigen test. This is a test that is designed to detect protein fragments that belong specifically to the group of viruses known as the Coronavirus. These tests take very little time to perform and can be done in a clinic, doctor’s office, hospital, or drive-thru testing facility. The results for antigen tests are typically reported in under 30 minutes from the time they were taken. Antigen tests can be helpful for those who need immediate results, however, these tests are not thought to be as accurate as PCR tests.
PCR Tests: PCR testing is the recommended method for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This test, unlike the antigen test, detects RNA that is specific to the virus. RNA is the genetic material that replaces DNA as a carrier of genetic codes in some viruses. PCR tests are actually able to detect the COVID virus within days of an individual becoming infected, meaning they can determine if an individual has COVID before they even display the first symptom of the illness. While the turnaround time for a PCR test is longer than for an antigen test, it is believed that these tests are more accurate. You can expect your PCR test results within 2-3 days, however, in some cases, you may get results in as little as 24 hours.
When is an antigen test recommended?
The COVID antigen tests, or rapid tests, are considered most accurate when administered to individuals who are actively displaying symptoms of COVID-19. While the rapid test can get you results very quickly, the results may not always be accurate. These tests can also be used before last-minute travel or admission into events.
What should I do if I get a negative rapid test result but still am displaying symptoms?
Rapid tests are less accurate than PCR tests. The current recommendation for individuals with COVID symptoms who receive a negative result for their rapid test is to schedule a confirmation test using the PCR method. This is especially the case in individuals that have had direct contact lasting more than 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID. if you’ve had a high-risk exposure.
Luckily, at this point of our global pandemic, it is possible to detect COVID-19 before symptoms are even present by searching for the virus’s genetic material. This is done by collecting a sample from an individual’s nose or throat. Listed below are the typical steps that are taken in molecular testing, also known as COVID PCR Testing:
-A doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional orders a COVID-19 test. All COVID-19 tests, including those used with a home collection kit, require a prescription or order from a health professional.
-You or a healthcare professional use a specialized swab to collect mucus from your nose or throat.
You or a healthcare professional put the swab in a sterile container and seal it for transport to a lab.
-During the shipping process, most molecular test swabs must be kept within a certain temperature range so that the test will be accurate. The sample must arrive at the lab within 72 hours.
-A lab technician mixes liquids with the swab to extract the genetic material of any virus that may be on the swab.
-The lab technician uses special reagents, called primers and probes, and a high-tech machine to conduct several controlled heating and cooling cycles to convert the virus’s RNA into DNA, and then make millions of copies of the DNA. Some tests use only one warming cycle to make copies of the DNA.
-When specific probes bind to DNA, a special type of light is produced that can be seen by the machine and the test shows a “positive” result for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
How accurate are my COVID-19 test results?
No viral test is 100% accurate all of the time. There are many different variables that can affect the accuracy of your COVID-19 test, including:
-You may be infected with the virus, but the swab used might not collect it efficiently from your nose or throat
-The swab or mucus sample may become contaminated by the virus during the collection or analysis phase
-The nasal or throat swab may not be kept at the correct temperature before it can be analyzed, leading to inaccurate results.
-The chemicals used to extract the virus genetic material and make copies of the virus DNA causing it to not work correctly
What is more likely, a false negative or a false positive?
Unfortunately, it is more common for individuals to receive false negatives on their COVID test than a false positive. If you receive a positive result for your COVID test, be careful. You will want to take all safety precautions to stop exposing others to this highly contagious virus.
Who should be tested for COVID?
According to the CDC’s website, the following groups should be tested for COVID-19
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local external icon, or state health department.
Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
What are the symptoms of COVID?
According to the CDC’s website:
“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
When to seek emergency medical attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
*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.”
What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?
According to the CDC’s website:
“Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
There are some key differences between flu and COVID-19. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Another important difference is there is a vaccine to protect against flu. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. More information about the differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below.
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.
While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.”
I already have tested positive for COVID previous but was recently exposed to the virus, do I need to be tested?
How long do COVID antibodies last?
With COVID-19 still being a relatively new virus, there is not enough research to know how effective the antibodies to this virus are. Additionally, it is difficult to determine how long the presence of these antibodies stay in an individual’s system. Do not make the mistake of thinking just because you have antibodies to this virus that you cannot get it again. It is important to continue taking steps to help protect yourself and others from this virus.
How can I help stop the spread of COVID in my community?
-Always wear a face mask in public or around vulnerable individuals
-Adhere to social distancing by maintaining 6ft of distance from others
-Wash your hands frequently, while using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
-Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer made up of at least 60% alcohol.
– Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
-Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
-Stay home if you become ill or feel you may be displaying symptoms of COVID
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces
Do I need an appointment to be tested for COVID at Wellspire Medical Group?
At Wellspire Medical Group, we are doing everything we can to make our COVID-19 testing in Humble, TX simple and accessible to all individuals. Our team is offering drive-thru Covid-19 rapid antigen testing and drive-thru COVID-19 PCR testing. Patients will receive rapid antigen test results in as little as 30 minutes or less. Counseling is provided to all patients after their results are available. The cost for the test is $100. Health insurance does not typically cover rapid antigen testing, however, may cover the PCR test.
Drive-Thru COVID-19 Rapid Testing in Northeast Houston
Our team provides same-day results for COVID-19 testing in Northeast Houston, TX, for new and established patients without having to schedule an appointment or come into our office. All rapid COVID-19 tests will be conducted Monday-Friday between 6 pm and 8 pm. We provide these tests to individuals from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. We protect your safety by putting sanitation measures in place to prevent cross-contamination between patients. Drive-thru testing centers were developed as a way to minimize potential exposure to the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. Instead of sharing a waiting room with others who are potentially infected, patients will be able to remain safely in their own vehicles throughout the entire process.
If you are not sure what COVID-19 test is right for you, the dedicated team of healthcare providers at Wellspire Medical Group can help you.
Wellspire Medical Group
Whether you have a medical concern you want to address with a physician or are seeking long term management and care for a condition you already have been diagnosed with, Wellspire is here for you. We believe every patient deserves a treatment plan that works for their specific needs and lifestyle. At the first sign of an issue, come into one of our two medical facilities. If you do not have an appointment, we will do our best to accommodate you at one of our locations. Wellspire Medical Group proudly serves Atascocita, Humble and surrounding areas. We have been part of Northeast Houston as the Mehta Medical Group for 30 years. Our name change reflects our broader scope of services. In other words, we are working hard to “Inspire Better Health!”
Wellspire Medical Group
8901 FM 1960 Bypass Rd. W