What is the difference between a diagnostic test and an antibody test?
A diagnostic test, sometimes called a “viral test,” looks for signs that you have a current infection. An antibody test, or “serology test,” can show that you were previously infected with the virus or vaccinated against the virus.
How does the diagnostic test work?
The test most commonly used to diagnose COVID-19 is a molecular test, or PCR test. It works by detecting genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When someone is infected, they have this genetic material in their nose and upper throat. The test uses a sample that is collected with a swab from an area of the nasal passage where viral particles are likely to be present.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently authorized a second type of diagnostic test known as an antigen test. Rather than looking for genetic material from the virus, the antigen test looks for molecules on the surface of the virus. Antigen tests are relatively inexpensive and can be run in about 15 minutes without specialized equipment.
Does St Bernard Drugs provide diagnostic testing for COVID-19?
Yes, St Bernard Drugs provides curbside antigen diagnostic test for $55. There's no need to schedule in advance and results are available within 20 minutes. Simply drive up to a parking spot and call us at (504) 242-1100 and we'll take care of the rest.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to know if you should be tested, call your medical provider directly and get advice about what to do next.