With the abundance of COVID-19 testing opportunities on the market, it is important to self-educate as to what type of test you are looking for. There are primarily three different types of COVID-19 testing modalities: Antibody testing, antigen testing, and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing.
Antibody testing is a blood based test and helps detect signs of previous infection. While detecting antibodies for COVID-19 can tell you that you have been exposed to or infected by the virus, it is not indicative that you are immune to the virus. There is still the possibility that you can get the virus again.
Antigen testing is a nasal swab based test that detects viral proteins. Antigen testing is acceptable at identifying infection, but it is not diagnostic for COVID-19 or any other specific infection. A rapid 15 minute COVID-19 antigen test can be only 80% accurate in reporting negatives. As a follow-up to a negative result of an antigen test, a PCR test is recommended to confirm a true negative result.
A PCR test is a nasal swab based test that detects genetic material that is specific to a single virus, in this case COVID-19. The PCR test offered at Eleven IV through GeneIQ is 97% accurate at diagnosing positive cases of Covid-19, and 99.9% accurate for diagnosing a negative result. When accuracy is most important to stop the spread, the gold standard for testing is a PCR test.