Have a couple of coughs left you questioning whether or not you may have COVID-19? You’re not alone. Knowing when to worry and what to look for when it comes to coronavirus is important, especially as cold and flu season approaches.
But, the need-to-know information doesn’t stop there. If your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 you may be wondering if you should get tested? And what is the process like? Testing can feel like a mysterious process but Rochester Medical Group is here to answer your frequently asked questions!
Who should get tested for COVID-19?
The Michigan Health and Human Services Department now recommends testing for all essential workers as well as individuals with mild symptoms. For clarification, anyone who is required to leave the house for work is considered an essential worker. People in this category needn’t be symptomatic to be tested.
Symptoms can occur 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
You should also be tested if you’ve been in close contact with a positive or presumed positive individual. Close contact is defined by the CDC as: Closer than six feet for 15 minutes or more.
Where Can I Get Tested for COVID-19?
Rochester Medical Group has three test sites for COVID testing.
ROCHESTER MEDICAL GROUP
633 E. South Blvd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
(248) 844-6000 Phone
(248) 844-6159 Fax
32255 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Monday – Friday 9am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am – 12pm
(248) 723-5880 Phone
(248) 723-5889 Fax
How Long Does it Take to Get COVID-19 Test Results?
Expected turnaround time is 2 to 3 days from receipt in the laboratory. However, timing can vary depending on a variety of factors, including increased demand for the test. Your results will be sent to the ordering physician.
What are the main differences between molecular/PCR (swab) and antibody (blood) COVID-19 testing?
Molecular testing/PCR is used to diagnose COVID-19. It detects viral genetic material from a nasal swab specific for SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Molecular testing is useful to make a positive covid-19 diagnosis. This molecular test (PCR) performed on a nasopharyngeal swab is the current gold standard for diagnosis of an active COVID infection. Unlike the molecular test, a blood test for COVID-19 IgG antibody is not diagnostic for COVID-19. The presence of IgG antibody is a measure of the immune response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection and provides evidence of a previous exposure. The test is particularly useful in individuals who were asymptomatic or experienced mild symptoms and were never diagnosed with COVID-19. Most individuals will develop antibodies or seroconvert between 14-21 days post-onset of infection. These antibodies should be detectable in the body for a significant period of time thereafter, though the exact timeline is still unclear. Several individuals in the medical and scientific community believe COVID-19 IgG antibodies are protective and prevent re-infection, although that also remains to be determined at this time. It’s important to note that you can have IgG antibodies and still have an active case of COVID-19. The antibody test is in no way a substitute for the molecular PCR Swab test in identifying and containing the spread of this disease.