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5 Covid-19 test procedures explained

With cases of Covid-19 still fluctuating, we are still relying on coronavirus tests to get checked out and help lower the rate of transmission.‍

But what are the various Covid-19 test kinds, and how do they work?

Here, we'll go through five of the most frequent Covid-19 tests, how to obtain them, and what each entails.


1. Rapid testing

Rapid testing involves the use of a lateral flow device (a test strip) to swiftly test for Covid-19 in patients who may have the virus but are not yet displaying symptoms.

They are used to break the chain of transmission in high-risk contexts (such as nursing homes) by ensuring that no one who is asymptomatic may transfer the virus.

A swab sample from the nostril and back of the throat is required for a fast Covid-19 test, which is subsequently placed into a tube of liquid. This liquid is applied to a test strip, which produces a colored band if the virus is found.

The test itself is simple and takes only a few minutes – a healthcare expert will simply swab your tonsils and the inside of your nose with a cotton bud.

The results are available in 10-30 minutes, and anyone who tests positive must isolate for ten days.

Rapid Covid-19 testing are available in laboratories, point-of-care settings (such as nursing homes and hospitals), and the community.


2. Covid-19 private testing

If you choose a private Covid-19 test, there are two techniques to determine whether you have the virus: a PCR test and a Covid-19 antigen test.

The antigen test is quicker and less expensive, but it is slightly less accurate than a PCR test, which delivers 99.9% accuracy vs the antigen test's 93.8% accuracy.

You may also get a PCR Fit to Fly test, which is the same as a conventional PCR test but includes a certificate proving your fitness to travel.


A PCR test takes a cotton bud swab of the back of your throat and the inside of your nose, but an antigen test normally requires only one of these: inside your nose or mouth.

Both tests are quick and will be performed by a healthcare expert during a private visit. You must book this in advance, either online or by phone, depending on the supplier.

Private PCR test results typically take 1-2 days to arrive, although some test centers provide same-day results delivery. Antigen test results are generally available on the same day that you are tested.

Private Covid-19 testing are faster, both in terms of waiting periods and results, and less stressful, because you can ensure an appointment and won't have to self-administer or mail your sample.

Learn more about the advantages of private Covid-19 testing by reading our guide.


3. Antibody screening

A Covid-19 antibody test determines if you have previously been exposed to the virus and generated antibodies.

The exam is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. To check for antibodies, all that is necessary is a fast finger-prick blood test – no swabbing!

The majority of antibody testing are only provided on a private basis. This means you'll have to pay for the test and schedule a private consultation with a healthcare practitioner.

Our antibody tests start at £95, and we'll email you your findings by 10 p.m. on the same day as your test.


You may be eligible for an NHS home-kit antibody test if you work in a care home.

These are sent to your house, and you will be given step-by-step instructions on how to collect your blood sample. You must then return your sample to the attached location and wait for the results, which might take 3-7 days.


4. NHS Covid-19 tests

The NHS Covid-19 test is the most often used of the several Covid-19 test variants.

It's what you'll get if you go to a local NHS test facility or some point-of-care settings, such as hospitals.

The NHS Covid-19 test is a conventional PCR test that will determine whether or not you presently have the virus. It can't tell you if you've had the virus before or if you've built immunity to it.


To schedule an NHS Covid-19 test, visit a local test facility online or call 119.

A healthcare expert will use a long cotton bud to swab the inside of your nose and the back of your throat at the test location. If you are over the age of 12, you can conduct the swab yourself.

Your sample will then be examined in a laboratory, and you should receive the findings within three days.



Overall, the method for an NHS Covid-19 test is identical to that of a private Covid-19 test, however results take longer and you may have to wait in a lengthy line, depending on how busy your local test center is. If your local location is fully booked, you may have to travel elsewhere.


5. Covid-19 self-administered tests

Self-administered Covid-19 testing let you to get tested without leaving your house, which may be advantageous if you are shielding or are unable to travel to a nearby test center.

You may pay for a private self-administered Covid-19 test or request one from the NHS, which will deliver a home kit to your door within 48 hours of booking.

When the package arrives, you must carefully follow the instructions.


A private test center is your best option if you need a Covid-19 test result as soon as possible.

Advanced Diagnostic COVID Testing Clinic has two locations in California, including La Mirada and Whittier, where we provide Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR.

To schedule your private Covid-19 test or to learn more about our test packages, please click here.

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