Antigen testing is used to detect the virus when someone may not be showing symptoms thus preventing the spread of COVID-19 by isolating and quarantining the individual. These results are quick and easy, they are ready within 15-30 minutes.
- Outside vendor of health professionals are available to staff testing efforts
- Slightly less sensitive than a PCR but similar specificity
- Positive cases require reflex confirmatory PCR test
Individual PCR Testing
An individual PCR test is the most commonly used molecular test for COVID-19.
- While a PCR test is more sensitive, results need to be processed in a lab and are ready in 24-72 hours.
Pooled PCR Testing
Pooled PCR can be used to test large numbers of students and allows the lab to combine the samples into a batch or “pool” which will be tested together. This way, labs can process more tests in the amount of time it would take for one single sample. If the batch or “pool” tests positive, then each individual swab will be tested to see which one(s) is/was the positive test.
- Turn around time for test results is 24-72 hours