At the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 tests were extremely limited. People would wait in line for hours just to get tested and would wait 1-2 weeks for results! Thankfully, we have come a long way, and testing has become faster and readily available to everyone across the United States.
Today, there are three tests widely available: PCR, antigen, and antibody tests. They each have a different way of reading for COVID-19. If you are looking for the most accurate test to identify COVID-19, PCR is considered the “gold standard.”
What is a PCR Test?
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction and detects genetic material from a specific organism – in this case, SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus. It is the only test that searches for the active virus, making it the most accurate and reliable test for COVID-19.
How It Works
- The test is administered by a nasal swab, gets sealed in a tube, and is sent to a lab for testing.
- The lab will perform an extraction, isolating the genetic material from the sample collected.
- Then, they will use special chemicals and a thermal cycler (PCR machine) to create a reaction that causes millions of copies of a small portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material.
- If SARS-CoV-2 is detected, one of the chemicals will emit a bright, fluorescent light. This light would signal a positive test result. If there is no light reaction, the test is negative.
Rapid PCR Test for Travel
PCR tests are the only COVID-19 tests that are approved for traveling. If you are traveling to another country or will be returning to the U.S., most countries will only accept a negative result from a PCR test.
You may find that it is easier and more affordable to find a rapid antigen test. While antigen tests have a high accuracy rate, they don’t search for the Coronavirus itself. They only search for proteins that have been caused by COVID-19. PCR tests continue to be the most accurate test at identifying the virus, so if you are traveling, make sure to check with your airline or country of entry before booking your test.
Same-day Results with the Rapid PCR Test
Since PCR tests typically have to be sent to a lab for results, most “rapid” PCR tests can take 24-48 hours for results. DEFEN95 acquired a mobile lab so we can get your results even faster! With our rapid testing, you will have the most accurate COVID-19 results available in just minutes.
Free, Mobile, On-Site Rapid COVID-19 Testing in Los Angeles
DEFEN95 is proud to support the Los Angeles area by offering a traveling clinic with no set-up costs for mass tasting. While we are not offering individual or home testing at the moment, if you belong to a business, place of worship, or more, our mobile testing clinic is a perfect option for testing a group of people at no cost. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, contact us today!