Knowing the difference between different COVID-19 tests

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Hub City, it’s important to know your options when getting tested for the virus.

Dr. Craig Barker, Corporate Medical Director at University Medical Center, said there are two types of testing.

One is the diagnostic test, which can tell if someone has the virus at the time of the test. Those tests include swabbing of the nose and mouth, and can take a few days to get results back.

“It takes four hours on a machine to run somewhere [and] most of those machines are not available in Lubbock, so they’re shipping those tests off. That’s why we get some of those from CVS, Walgreens or some of these other mass testing sites.”

Dr. Barker said there are also rapid antigen tests, which detect specific proteins from the virus. He said results on those tests can come back in fifteen minutes.

The second category of test detects whether there are antibodies present in the body, which can tell a patient if they had contacted COVID-19 in the past. This type of testing is done through a blood test.

Dr. Barker said regardless of what kind of testing is done, people should be conscious of when they get tested. He said COVID-19 symptoms can show up a few days after an encounter with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

“If you’ve been in a direct exposure in a car with someone (who tested positive), within six feet without the masks on for extended period of time, 15-20 minutes,” he said. “Then you really do need to stay home at least four to five days. “

Dr. Barker said after staying home for 4-5 days, it would take about 10 days to get over the virus which is why people are asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Click here to find testing locations in Lubbock as of November 16th.

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