Should You Get A Rapid COVID-19 Test, And What Are Your Options?

The Rapid COVID-19 Test Explained

The rapid COVID-19 test is also known as an antigen test. This test is designed to look for specific proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.

During your appointment, your clinician will take a sample from either your nasal cavity or your throat. Your test is processed onsite, and your results are typically ready within 15 minutes.

Types of antigen tests

There are two types of rapid antigen tests.

  • Nasal swab: Your nurse will use a long cotton swab to take a fluid sample from your sinus cavity.
  • Throat swab: Your nurse will use a long cotton swab to take a fluid sample from the back of your throat.

Is the rapid COVID-19 test the same as the PCR test?

Although both tests are typically performed as a nasal swab, the rapid COVID-19 test is not the same as the RT-PCR test.

The rapid antigen test can be processed onsite, whereas the RT-PCR test must be sent to a lab for analysis.

It’s important to note that even though the antigen test is very fast, it does have a higher rate of false positives and false negatives (incorrect results) than the RT-PCR test.

Who should get it?

You should consider getting tested if:

  • You have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • You are showing symptoms of COVID-19
  • You need a test with fast results
  • If you’re traveling
  • If you’re regularly in contact with the public, such as retail or restaurant workers, first responders, health care workers, assisted living employee, or staff at a correctional institution.

Consult with your primary care doctor for their recommendation as to which type of COVID test you should get.

How fast can you get the results?

Your rapid COVID-19 antigen test will return results within 15 minutes.

What is the price of a rapid COVID-19 antigen test?

It depends on where you get the test. The test may be covered by your insurance if performed at a drive-in or community testing center. In-home services can have some associated costs.

Does insurance cover the test?

Most insurers do cover testing. However, it’s best that you check with your health insurance provider to learn more about what is and isn’t covered, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses and other fees.

Where can you get a rapid COVID test?

You can get a rapid COVID test at many drive-in, community, and campus testing centers. Many clinics and urgent care facilities offer rapid COVID tests. You can also get tested with some in-home medical services.

Search for a COVID-19 testing center near you.

Can you get tested at home?

Yes and no.

  • You cannot get a rapid antigen test at home with a DIY kit at this time.
  • You can get a rapid antigen test with a medical service such as Drip Hydration.


At-Home COVID-19 Tests With Drip Hydration

If you want to be tested for COVID-19 but don’t want to leave your home, Whether you want a rapid antigen test, a RT-PCR test, or an antibody test, Drip Hydration brings your appointment directly to you at home. Our certified nurses wear medical-grade protective gear and practice social distancing as much as possible for a safe, convenient test with prompt results.