myDoc Urgent Care is pleased to announce we are now offering rapid COVID-19 testing in our Philadelphia center city office at 1420 Locust Street, as well as our Temple University office at 1501 N Broad Street. There are no additional costs if you are using insurance.
We would like to inform the public about the difference between Rapid (Antigen) Test and PCR Test so you can make a more informed decision.
This is an antigen test, designed to detect viral protein (called antigens) on the surface of the virus. This test can be done in a physician’s office or hospital via nasal or throat swab. The result is available in 15-20 minutes.
A rapid (antigen) test is ideal for a symptomatic person or in a highly-infectious area for the purpose of identifying positive infections so social isolation can begin sooner rather than later. It can also be used repeatedly due to the convenience and quick turnaround of results.
However, a negative rapid test result should be treated as presumptive, as the test is not as sensitive as a PCR test. With this consideration, it does not rule out a COVID-19 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions. If a patient is symptomatic or has had high-risk exposure but tested negative in the rapid test, it is recommended that the patient follow up with a PCR test.
A Rapid test cannot be used for travel purposes, a PCR test is required.
PCR Test (Polymerase Chain Reaction):
This is a molecular test looking for genetic material that comes only from the virus. The test is commonly conducted at a certified laboratory and takes a few hours to complete. Thus, it is common that the result is reported in 1-3 days. The specimen for this test is collected via nasal swap.