The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a swab test that looks for the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. The test is performed by taking a sample from the nose or throat and then sending it to a laboratory for analysis. A COVID-19 PCR test is one of the most accurate ways to test for the presence of the virus. It can be performed on a sample of saliva or nose swab and can detect even small amounts of the virus if you have it.
Here are some things you should know about the COVID-19 PCR test.
How is a COVID-19 PCR Test Administered?
- A healthcare worker will swab your nose or throat to collect a sample of cells. A cotton swab is inserted into each nostril and then rotated several times.
- The swab is then placed in a vial containing a solution that will break down any viral or bacterial DNA present on the swab.
- The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing where PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is used to amplify the genetic material from the virus, so it can be detected more easily. This process usually takes several hours.
- Results are typically available 24 hours or less after the test.
What is the Success Rate of a COVID-19 PCR Test?
The COVID-19 PCR test is highly accurate, but the accuracy can be threatened by some factors, such as the quality of the swab, the manner in which the sample is stored, and the experience of the medical professional administering the test, and whether the patient followed instructions properly. Rapid home antigen-test kits are less accurate than PCR tests administered by a healthcare professional and analyzed in a laboratory.
How Do You Prepare for a COVID-19 PCR Test?
There is usually very little preparation needed for a COVID-19 PCR test. There are some things you need to do, however, such as:
- Scheduling your appointment in advance.
- Take a valid government-issued ID with you. You will need to show this to the staff at the testing site.
- Bring your insurance information with you, if applicable to the appointment.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything sweet or acidic for at least 30 minutes before the test. This includes soda, gum, candy, water, and mints.
Before taking the test, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Make sure you are dressed in comfortable clothing and are in a relaxed state.
COVID-19 PCR Testing in Fort Worth, TX
Texas Medical Institute now offers drive-up COVID-19 testing with a virtual visit, which eliminates the need to visit a clinic in person and helps us maintain social distancing guidelines. Our clinic is located at 3304 SE Loop 820, Ste B.
Your health and safety are highly important to us. If you have any questions about our COVID-19 PCR drive-through testing service or to schedule your test, call our office at 817-615-8633. Our friendly and helpful staff is more than happy to answer your questions and assist you with your visit.