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Types of COVID-19 Testing

Types of COVID-19 Testing

Currently, there are two main types of testing associated with COVID-19. They include diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

A diagnostic test is exactly that – a test used to diagnose active coronavirus infections. Healthcare facilities and providers use two different diagnostic tests to determine infection. The Molecular (RT-PCR) test is the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19. It detects the virus’ genetic material through a nasal swab. The collected sample is sent to a lab for results. 

An antigen test, also referred to as a rapid test, detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus through a nasal swab. Test results are returned much quicker. However, these tests can produce false negatives and a PCR test might be ordered to confirm an active case of COVID-19. A physician will decide to confirm negative results based on an individual’s symptoms, if they persist. 

An antibody test is a serology test that looks for antibodies that are made by the immune system in response to the virus. Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after an infection, and may stay in the blood for several weeks after recovery. Antibody tests are used to find out if an individual has already had the virus. It is not to be used to diagnose an active infection. This test uses a blood sample for signs of a prior viral infection.

For the community’s safety and convenience, Hendrick Health has consolidated the screening through treatment process with an online COVID-19 screening tool. Text “covidhelp” to 325-216-4824 to begin. Anyone experiencing symptoms is encouraged to complete the online COVID-19 Screening. 

For more information about COVID-19, visit