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Your Guide to COVID Testing: What To Expect

March 18, 2024

Your Guide to COVID Testing: What To Expect

If you have perused the internet and done some research about COVID-19 testing, you may have seen a video of a COVID test. It’s easy to see why these tests could appear so intimidating. The swabs used in a COVID test do seem to go a very long way up the nose, after all! In all reality, coronavirus tests are not nearly as bad as they seem. These tests are a great way of quickly finding out if you test positive for COVID 19. 

There have been over 2 million cases of coronavirus in the United States since February. While over a million have recovered from COVID-19, 100,000 have unfortunately passed away. COVID testing is available in each state (as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and Washington D.C), though some states have fewer tests than others due to a shortage of supplies. These tests are only minorly uncomfortable and are a surefire way of figuring out if you have COVID-19. 

How Does COVID-19 Testing Work? 

The first step of getting a coronavirus test involves finding a location that performs tests. You can easily figure out if you need to test for COVID-19 by calling a doctor’s office or testing location. The majority of these locations will test you while you remain in your vehicle. This reduces the chances of spreading COVID-19. When you receive your COVID test, a professional will firstly place a sterile swab up your nasal passage. The swab will rest at the back of your nasal passage where it connects to the throat. The swab must remain in place for a few seconds so it can absorb secretions. This part is the most uncomfortable part of the entire test, but you will still be able to talk and breathe normally. 

After your swab is completed, a biotechnician will perform a technique known as an RT-PCR or a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. CDC and WHO both use this technique in their test kits for COVID testing. This test can take a few hours or a few days to process. While you are waiting for results, you should stay at home and avoid contact with others. This is to reduce the spread of coronavirus in case you test positively. 

Another form of COVID testing is performed by examining antibodies. After identifying antibodies in a patient’s bloodstream, a medical professional can determine if they’ve previously had COVID-19 or not. This form of testing is not as popular as RT-PCR testing because it will only tell if a patient previously had coronavirus, not currently. 

Signs You May Need a COVID Test 

If you display any symptoms of coronavirus, you may want a COVID test. The symptoms of coronavirus include fever, shortness of breath, breathing problems, coughing, and other cold-like symptoms. If you have been around large groups of people and start showing symptoms 2-14 days after, you will want to get tested for coronavirus. If you are on the fence about getting tested for COVID-19, you can always contact a medical professional for advice. 

In-And-Out Coronavirus Testing With BASS Urgent Care

At BASS Primary Care, we pride ourselves on quickly getting our patients seen and helped by our medical professionals. If you believe you may have coronavirus, we can help. After a Telehealth video with one of our professionals, we will be able to determine whether a COVID test is the best option for you or not. If you need to be tested, we will be able to do so from your vehicle or inside our sanitary facilities. We make sure that our patients are as comfortable as possible during their test and get your results to you within 24-48 hours after testing. To book an appointment, call us at (925) 962-9120 or visit us online.

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