Where can I get tested for COVID-19 with laboratory or rapid tests for free?
Many pharmacies and community centers provide access to free COVID-19 tests. Visit Community-Based Testing Centers or the Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) website to find testing locations in your area.
When should you take a COVID-19 PCR test instead of a rapid antigen test?
“PCR would be chosen where there is a low likelihood of having the virus, but we want to be certain the patient doesn’t have it. Antigen would be chosen if there is a high probability the patient has the virus (i.e. is experiencing symptoms), and we need to screen the patient as positive or negative,” Heather said.
Why PCR is better than the rapid COVID-19 test?
“PCR tests are more reliable and accurate due to testing the specific genetic material of the virus, eliminating the interference from other viruses,” said Heather Seyko, a Laboratory Services manager for OSF HealthCare.
When are rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 most accurate? Rapid antigen tests are most accurate when they are used in people who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, especially during the first week of illness. People who test negative may still be infected.