COVID-19 Testing & Information
Covid-19 testing is available in our centers as follows:
- If you are without symptoms and have had no known contact with a COVID positive person, we have a testing option that can be performed without seeing a provider for a self-pay rate of $150 (payment by cash, check, or credit card) for a single PCR or antigen detection nasal test. This could be ideal for someone who needs pre-operative testing or needs the test for something work related. All testing is subject to availability of supplies.
- If you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone with known COVID or wish to use insurance, testing must include a provider visit for us to comply with malpractice regulations and our insurance company contracts. Please refer to your insurance policy benefits for urgent care rates. Most insurances are waiving copays and deductible collections for COVID related visits.
*If you need clearance to travel, please check if you are required to have a PCR or molecular test. The PCR/molecular tests can be difficult for us to get back quickly which may impact your travel. We cannot guarantee return time as the labs are varying daily.
REGISTER ONLINE, CALL FOR A TELEMEDICINE (VIDEO) CONSULTATION OR DROP BY ONE OF OUR LOCATIONS IF YOU FEEL COVID TESTING MAY BE APPROPRIATE FOR YOU.
*Free Covid19 testing may be available through the CO Department of Public Health. They can be reached at (303) 389-1687 or (877) 462-2911.
Frequent Questions about COVID-19 Testing
The types of testing that currently exist for the COVID-19 virus are:
PCR Testing – used to identify active COVID-19 virus. These tests are conducted by performing a nasal or oral swab with a long Q-tip. The samples are preserved in a special liquid and sent to an outside lab for processing. The turn-around time varies depending on the number of tests the lab processes daily but generally runs 2-4 days although we have seen periods up to 14 days. This is thought to be the most accurate test available at this time and is the one most recommended by our providers.
Antigen Testing – is used to identify active COVID-19 virus. This is a “quick test” done in clinic by performing a nasal pharyngeal swab similar to getting a flu test. The test generally takes 15 minutes to be resulted. The accuracy of this test is moderate and it has been shown to result in “false negatives”. It has good predictive value for someone strongly though to be negative (no symptoms and no contact with positive person). Anyone with symptoms or a contact with a COVID positive person should self-quarantine and wait for the PCR test result to come back.
Antibody Testing – used in a healthy person to identify if your body has been exposed to or infected with the COVID-19 virus. These tests are gathered by collecting a blood sample that goes to an outside lab for processing. The turn-around time also varies but is expected to be 2-4 days. The accuracy of these tests widely varies. We are not recommending antibody testing at this time.
Are these tests accurate?
Accuracy of tests is being studied. As with most tests available today, there are always going to be “false negatives” and “false positives”. It’s important to listen to input from your healthcare provider.
Does the antibody test show if I have had the virus in the past?
It can tell if your body has produced virus fighting antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. This could happen as a result of you having the illness or being exposed to the virus.
If I get the antibody test and it shows that I have been exposed does that mean I have immunity?
Possibly but not enough studies have been done to say for certain. It will take a year or more to develop any meaningful answers and guidance for the public.
If I have either had the COVID-19 virus or have the antibodies to them can I stop wearing a mask?
No, it is possible that you could contract the virus again or even still have virus in your body that you could pass on unintentionally. Masks help prevent droplet spread when someone coughs or sneezes which is thought to be the main way the virus is spread.
Does the antibody test tell me if I currently have the virus?
No, the PCR test is much better at identifying an active illness. The antibody test simply identifies those that have developed antibodies to the virus.
How long does it take to develop antibodies?
Some reports suggest that healthy people begin making antibodies 11 to 14 days after the exposure. Chronic medical conditions and immune suppressing drugs can delay the response in some people.
It seems like there are a lot of unknowns surrounding the testing. Is this normal?
Remember, viruses have the ability to mutate and change in response to their environment. The virus that causes COVID-19 started out as a different coronavirus (there are many that cause the common cold and are seen regularly) and likely mutated to become what we see today. This means that to our healthcare system this virus did not exist prior to the beginning of this year. It takes years to develop and assess tests, vaccines and treatments which is what the scientific community is doing at a feverish pace right now. Until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment it is important that we continue to be vigilant through frequent hand washing, not touching our faces, wearing a mask when in public, and observing proper social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading effectively.
Are the tests FDA approved?
There are no COVID tests that are fully FDA approved at this time. The process takes years in some cases. Because of the potential severity of the COVID-19 virus and the rapidity of its spread throughout the world the FDA has allowed testing companies that meet certain basic requirements to release COVID tests under the “Emergency Use Authorization” program.
Are all tests the same quality?
No, there has been evidence of fraud with personal protective equipment and tests coming into the country because of the temporarily relaxed standards. That is why OnPoint clinics are only using tests provided by large reference labs locally (LabCorp and Quest) and around the country. We are not sourcing tests from the internet.