COVID-19 PCR Testing Questions and Answers
If you would like COVID PCR testing, in order to expedite your visit, please send a text message to 813-212-0882 with the word “COVID”. You will receive a link with a form to fill out for the laboratory. Please complete this prior to your arrival, if you can. This will save a lot of time in the clinic and the lab will text your results directly to your cell phone. You will be able to save, email, or print your results in a .pdf format. You must still come to the urgent care as a walk-in (we do not make appointments at this time) in order to be seen by a provider and be tested. At this time, we are seeing 24 to 48 hour turnaround time for our PCR testing, with the majority of the results closer to 24 hours.
What is the purpose of COVID-19 PCR tests?
COVID-19 PCR tests are also known as molecular tests, this particular COVID-19 test detects the genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
During this test, a fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab to get a sample. In some cases, a long swab is inserted into the back of your throat, or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. Results are usually available within minutes if analyzed onsite or within a few hours after. Test processing might have delays dependent on the number of PCR tests that are done each day. COVID-19 PCR lab tests are extremely accurate when properly performed by a healthcare professional like ours at Urgent Care & Wellness Center in Lutz, FL.
What is the difference between a COVID-19 antigen test and a PCR test?
COVID-19 PCR tests are used to directly screen for the presence of viral RNA, which is detectable in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present. This can mean that the test tells whether or not someone has the virus very early on in the illness.
Substances known as reverse transcriptase or DNA polymerase are added to a nasopharyngeal sample in the lab. This substance that is added work to make numerous copies of any viral RNA that may be present. This is done so that enough copies of the RNA are present to signal a positive result, as specifically designed primers and probes attach themselves to sequences of the genetic code of the virus to signal that a pathogen has been found.
While antibody tests are able to tell healthcare providers what proportion of the population has been infected, it will not tell you who is infected. The antibodies from the COVID-19 virus are generated after a week or two, after which time the virus should have been cleared from the system. This antibody test tells you who has been infected previously and who should be immune to the virus.
Unlike PCR tests that use swabs to collect fluids from a nasal swab to detect if COVID-19 is in their system, antibodies are collected via a blood sample. This is because there will be smaller amounts of the COVID-19 antibody circulating in the blood compared to the respiratory tract, but a significant and measurable antibody present in the blood following an infection.
How do I make an appointment for the COVID-19 PCR test?
If you are wanting to get a COVID-19 PCR test, and want to expedite your visit, please send us a text message at (813) 212 – 0882 with the word “COVID”. You will receive a response text with a link to a form to fill out for our laboratory. Please complete the form prior to your arrival, if you can as this will save a lot of time in the clinic and the lab will text your results directly to your cellphone.
You can save, email, or even print your test results in a .pdf format once they are completed. At this time, Urgent Care & Wellness Center is seeing on average a 24–48-hour turnaround period for our COVID-19 PCR testing, with the majority of the PCR results coming in closer to 24 hours.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us via our main phone line found on our call page or through our options below (send a text or how may we help you). We are open from Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday to Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and conveniently located at 18981 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548. We serve patients from Lutz FL, Land O’ Lakes FL, Cheval FL, Greater Northdale FL, Tampa FL, and Greater Carrollwood FL.