Even after almost a year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, testing is still greatly underused. In fact, COVID-19 testing seems to be trending in reverse. The number of daily COVID tests administered has steadily decreased, reports The Atlantic, saying “around Thanksgiving there was a major dip in testing, which was likely a combination of a bump in the demand before the holiday, and a drop-off in demand right after.”
According to Louise Weadock, founder of COVID Clear Services and ACCESS Nursing Services, “Vaccinated or not, as time goes on, the COVID-19 antibody for each person will vary like the virus itself. Therefore, everyone will need to be tested for at least another 18-24 months as we try to get back to normal.”
She explains, “Until we develop herd-immunity against the core Coronavirus variants, only widespread testing can help us avoid a COVID explosion -- especially as families get together and move forward to open businesses, send children back to school and attend social events. Depression, injuries and a decline in academic performance and motivation are all symptoms of social isolation and the consequences of the breakdown of “normalcy” since March 2020.”
Here’s what you need to know about the two most effective tests available now and the specific benefits of each:
1. Rapid Testing: Antigen tests detect specific proteins from a virus particle.
- Accuracy: If a person is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the tests are extremely accurate since the test is highly specific. A test’s specificity is the fraction of negative cases that the test correctly identifies as negative.
- How the Test is Administered: Recipients of this test will be subject to a nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab. These swabs are not painful, but may cause slight discomfort and the nasal swab lasts only seconds.
- Time Until Results: Rapid test results are returned within approximately 15 minutes.
2. PCR Testing: Molecular tests detect genetic material or nucleic acid present inside a virus particle.
- Accuracy: The PCR tests are the most accurate. “A PCR test can sense even low levels of viral genetic material in a patient’s sample, so these tests tend to be highly sensitive,” reports the FDA.
- How the Test is Administered: There are different types of sample collections for this test including the nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, mid-turbinate swab, respiratory aspirate/lavage, or saliva sample.
- Time Until Results: PCR test results are returned within 24-48 hours.
“People are ready to get back to normal living and this is the path we all need to take,” says Weadock. “We need to return to our normal rhythm of life. Work, School, Play and Pray can help us finally get this virus under control.”
COVID Clear Services, an affiliate of ACCESS Nursing Services, is a certified COVID-19 safety provider offering Rapid and PCR testing. COVID Clear provides a range of testing, tracking and tracing services for businesses, schools, senior facilities and at any special event or party, including weddings and bar mitzvahs. Testing options include: Rapid Testing (10-minute results) and PCR Testing (24-hour results), either self-administered or administered by an experienced clinician. For more information, contact our COVID Clear Team at (201) 706-7030; info@CovidClearServices.com to schedule testing for your next event.