COVID Testing

This article discusses COVID testing, how it works, when a person needs COVID testing, and how to avoid coronavirus.


As of June, there have been 2 million cases of coronavirus in the United States. Over 100,000 have passed away due to coronavirus related complications. Currently, in the United States, COVID testing is available in each state (as well as Washington D.C, Puerto Rico, and Guam). The availability of a COVID test depends on the state, and many states are experiencing shortages of the tools required to perform a COVID test. This test can efficiently and quickly diagnose an individual with coronavirus with little pain. 

What Is Coronavirus? 

Coronavirus originates from a family of viruses that cause illnesses. These illnesses can range from mild colds to serious diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Coronavirus is spread through aerosols, or droplets that are filled with the virus. These droplets will spread when a person with coronavirus sneezes or coughs. If the droplets enter another person’s body, they will have a high chance of becoming infected. Studies indicate that coronavirus can survive on surfaces for days and in the air for hours. 

How COVID 19 Testing Works 

The first step of COVID testing involves a sterile swab being placed at the back of the patient’s nasal passage. The swab rests where the nasal passage connects to the throat where it absorbs secretions. While this part of the testing is uncomfortable, the patient can still talk and breathe normally. In order to figure out if the nasopharyngeal sample is positive for coronavirus, a biotechnician will perform a technique referred to as RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction). The test kits created by the CDC and the World Health Organization both use this technique. RT-PCR tests can take a few hours or a few days to process. 

Examining antibodies is another form of COVID-19 testing. By identifying antibodies in a patient’s bloodstream, it is possible to tell if they have previously had COVID-19 or not. This form of testing is not as useful as RT-PCR tests because it cannot diagnose a current case of COVID-19. 

When Does a Person Need COVID-19 Testing? 

If a person displays any symptoms of coronavirus, they will want a COVID test. The symptoms of coronavirus can be mild or severe. Mild symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and other breathing problems. In more severe cases, coronavirus can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. If a person has been out in a public space around other people and starts showing symptoms after two weeks, they should get a COVID test immediately. If a person is unsure if they should receive a test or not, they should contact their primary care physician. 

How To Avoid Coronavirus 

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent coronavirus. The best way for a person to avoid infection involves washing their hands consistently. The CDC recommends that a person scrubs their hands for at least 20 seconds. If a person needs to, they could also use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. A person can avoid coming into contact with coronavirus by practicing social distancing (stay 6 feet apart) and wearing a mask. If a person believes that they have coronavirus, they should avoid others and make an appointment to receive COVID testing. 

COVID-19 Testing With BASS Urgent Care

If you are in the Bay Area and are worried that you may have coronavirus, BASS Primary Care can help. After a Telehealth video visit with us, we will determine which testing option is best for you and make an instant referral for your test. The test itself will take place in a low-risk environment in your vehicle or in our facility. Your results will be delivered within 24-48 hours. BASS Primary Care is dedicated to making your test as painless and stress-free as possible. To book an appointment, call (925) 962-9120 or visit us online.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.