COVID19 Testing and Information

Covid19 testing is available in our centers in two basic forms:

  1. If you are without symptoms, 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 nasal test.  This is ideal for someone who needs clearance to travel, for pre-operative or pre-procedure testing, or has been exposed to a known source.
  2. If you have symptoms, 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 patient responsibility rates. If you have not met your deductible; you may be responsible for the cost of the entire visit which varies depending on your insurance provider.

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 COVID19 Testing

Two types of testing currently exist for the COVID19 virus. They are:

PCR Testing – used to identify active COVID19 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 12 days.

Antibody Testing – used in a healthy person to identify if your body has been exposed to or infected with the COVID19 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 both types 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 COVID19 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 COVID19 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 COVID19 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 COVID19 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.

 

The weather is getting nicer. Does that mean that COVID19 will go away like the flu?

We certainly hope so but there is no scientific evidence that will happen. There is also concern that as we get back to normal the virus may begin to spread again. Be patient and be flexible. Until we have both a vaccine and a treatment for this virus you should remain cautious.