For weather-related announcements, please visit our Facebook page
or call us directly at (410) 694-7999

Diagnostic vs Antibody Testing for COVID-19

Getting tested for COVID-19 is something that you’ve surely thought about by now, with all the talk surrounding it, it would be nearly impossible not to! Getting tested is easier now than it was a few months ago, especially because there is more than one testing option available. If looking at the different tests confuses and stresses you out, step back and take a breath. Let’s dig into what each test means in terms that anyone can understand! 

Diagnostic Testing 

Diagnostic testing is the type of testing that is used to diagnose an active COVID-19 case. People are generally only tested if they are presenting COVID-19 symptoms or have had close contact with a known COVID-19 case. Some states are encouraging more broad testing, even of people who don’t have symptoms, but this isn’t the case everywhere. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 in the past but aren’t currently suffering from an active case, diagnostic testing will show a negative test result. Diagnostic testing is done using a nasal swab and results typically take 2 business days. 

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing is a type of testing that indicates whether or not you have any antibodies, also known as immunity, to COVID-19. This means that you don’t have an active case of COVID-19, but that you were exposed in the past and your body learned how to fight off the virus. Antibody testing is done using a simple blood draw. The blood is evaluated to look for proteins present in your immune system, or antibodies. This test typically takes 2 business days to get results too. The key difference between the tests is that if you’re currently suffering from COVID-19, an antibody test will not diagnose you. 

What Test is Right for You? 

If you’re suffering from a fever, shortness of breath, or cough, then a diagnostic test is what you need. Diagnostic testing is also helpful if you suspect you’ve been exposed within the last 14 days, but no symptoms have shown yet. Antibody testing is used for a healthy person with no symptoms, looking to see if they have an immunity from a past exposure to the virus. 

COVID-19 Testing 

Getting COVID-19 testing is easier than ever at our urgent care center! With a convenient location and flexible hours, FirstCall Medical Center makes getting tested an effortless part of your day. Our team of trained medical professionals is working to sanitize, socially distance, and do everything possible to keep every person who enters our facility as healthy as possible! For questions, please call 410-694-7999.