Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

A respiratory disease caused by infection with the new form of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 is so named because it was discovered in 2019.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Covid-19 spreads easily from person-to-person, primarily through liquid respiratory droplets. However, sneezing and coughing aren’t the only ways droplets can be transmitted. For instance, we release droplets when we speak, sing, and breathe.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

A wide range of symptoms have been reported by people with COVID-19, ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear within two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. However, a substantial portion of individuals infected with COVID-19 have shown no symptoms at the time of testing or were asymptomatic.
According to the CDC, symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:
o Fever or chills
o Cough
o Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
o Fatigue
o Muscle or body aches
o Headache
o New loss of taste or smell
o Sore throat
o Congestion or runny nose
o Nausea or vomiting
o Diarrhea

What do I need to know about asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers?

After contracting COVID-19, it takes between two to 14 days to begin experiencing symptoms. However, a substantial portion of individuals with the virus display no symptoms. Researchers have come to widely varied conclusions with estimates of 25 to 80% of individuals with COVID-19 having no symptoms of being infected. That’s why widespread testing is vital for a healthy and safe workplace, educational, or recreational activity to resume.

What tests do you have for COVID-19?

Currently, we provide Viral RT-PCR RNA tests, Rapid Antigen tests and Rapid Antibody tests.

Why RNA testing?

RNA testing detects SARS-CoV-2 genetic material to identify if a patient is infected.

What is Antibody testing?

Antibody testing uses a blood sample to detect two types of antibodies: IgM, which develops early on in an infection, and IgG, which are more likely to appear later in the infection and after an individual has recovered.

What is the difference between a Viral RT-PCR RNA COVID-19 test and Antibody test?

A Viral RT-PCR RNA COVID-19 test detects an active SARS-CoV-2 virus. An Antibody test detects proteins the body usually makes if an individual has the virus or had the virus in the past.

Terms to Know

Coronavirus

A coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses. Coronaviruses cause one-third of common colds and sometimes respiratory infections. One coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is the
SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Novel Coronavirus

A novel coronavirus is a new virus that has not been identified before. This is a general term used to describe any new coronavirus. In the context of the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the novel coronavirus causing the current pandemic.

COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Asymptomatic 

A person who is asymptomatic shows no signs of symptoms of the disease. In this case, COVID-19. However, just because they don’t present any symptoms, they could still be infected and contagious. This makes them particularly dangerous as they may be unknowingly spreading the virus.

Symptomatic

A person who is symptomatic shows signs of symptoms. In terms of COVID-19, that means they may have a fever, dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches or other symptoms.

Viral RT-PCR RNA test

The Viral RT-PCR RNA test determines if there is an active SARS-CoV-2 infection. It’s a testing standard for active infection. As of right now, most Viral RT-PCR RNA testing takes about 24 to 72 hours.

Antibody (serology) test

Antibodies start developing within one to three weeks after infection. An Antibody test screens for signs of a past infection. It does not test for a current infection.

Antigen tests

Antigen tests are also known as rapid diagnostic tests. The sample is taken via a nasal or throat swab and the results are delivered within one hour. This test is used to detect an active coronavirus infection but cannot definitively rule out an active infection. Antigen tests are less accurate and negative results may need to be confirmed with molecular tests.

Sensitivity

The ability of a test to identify correctly all those who have the disease, that is “true-positive.”

Specificity

The ability of a test to identify correctly those who do not have the disease, that is, “true-negatives.”

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