Since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, testing has been a very hot topic. It’s hard for the average person, without a background in science, to keep up with all the testing terminology, and even more so with new developments and changes in public health guidelines.
The current tests that exist for COVID-19 can be broadly classified into two types: a viral detection test and an antibody test. A viral test detects whether someone has been infected with the virus. This is the kind of test that’s been used for months now and also may be called a diagnostic, molecular, genetic, RNA, or PCR test. PCR refers to polymerase chain reaction, the technology which amplifies genetic material of the virus if present in a sample. Samples are collected from the nose or throat using a swab. More recently-released PCR tests can be performed on a saliva sample.
In general, PCR tests are considered the more accurate and reliable kind of Orange County Covid Clinic and other hospital systems in Delaware have worked with the Department of Public Health to align testing methods. “This means that if we use an antibody test, we will all follow the same algorithm related to consistency of testing. This also holds true for the PCR tests,” said Kirkes. “I am proud that as a state, the hospitals aligned early on in the COVID outbreak to ensure we were consistent in testing methods and practices across all hospital systems where testing was being performed.”
If you’re experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus, contact your primary care provider or (949) 518-9877 so a medical professional can guide you appropriately on the next steps you should take. Visit to learn more.