Those with the symptoms or contact of someone with the disease of COVID-19 should have a rapid antigen test as their very first option. PCR tests are available for people with symptoms or household contacts who need to be tested and cannot get the best rapid antigen COVID test. Rapid antigen tests can be used before attending crowded events, social gatherings, or visiting vulnerable individuals to check if you have COVID-19 quickly.
Your school or workplace may use rapid antigen tests as part of an established surveillance program. In those cases where a rapid antigen test is not available, and you have symptoms or know someone with COVID-19, you may be able to receive a PCR test.
We recommend that if you do not have symptoms and you do not have any contacts, but you test positive on a best rapid antigen COVID test, you should get a PCR to verify the result. We do not recommend this if you have any other symptoms or you are into some contact.
You will be directly notified if necessary for other reasons.
How can you interpret the results of the Rapid Official Antigen Test?
You have symptoms, but the rapid antigen test (RAT) result returned negative. There is probably another illness you are suffering from, so you should schedule an appointment with your GP.
- An antigen test performed turns out to be positive, but no symptoms have been noticed.
A confirmatory PCR test is performed right on the spot if the patient is asymptomatic and the Ag test results are positive. You don’t have to repeat your test. The PCR cannot be performed immediately due to serious problems with the test equipment. As a result, a PCR test will be ordered, and you will be instructed on what to do. The PCR results will be sent to you before you leave isolation. If positive, inform your doctor.
- A rapid antigen test (RAT) performed by a healthcare professional returned positive with symptoms.
You will receive the exact instructions along with the results of the official rapid tests.
Why are the lines colored?
You need to look for two colored lines. Look for the specific C (control). If the test is successful, you will see around two colored lines. If the test is fully successful, you will see around with the T or Ag (test). The result is comprised of the overall combination of these two.
The test is invalid in case the Cline does not make an appearance. If the test kit is expired or if you didn’t take it correctly, you may have failed. You are likely to have a negative result (you do not have COVID-19) if you see the Cline and not the T (or Ag) line.
What are the steps in the rapid antigen test?
Instructions are included within the tests. Depending on the test type, samples of nasal secretions or saliva are collected and dissolved in a chemical solution.
A bit like a pregnancy test, the chemical solution that contains your sample is placed onto an indicator device. This shows a positive result through the use of detectable color change.
Is Antigen testing expensive?
Most antigen tests can be performed at the point of care, and they are relatively inexpensive. In most cases, results are available within 15–30 minutes. SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests are generally less sensitive than RT-PCR or nucleic acid amplification tests.
Virus nucleic acid can be detected with these tests. To correctly manage the patients or people with the suspected COVID-19 or to accurately identify the infected people when used for the certain screening, it is important to interpret both antigen test results and NAAT results.
The maximum of the antigen official rapid tests are generally meant for preventive care, and they are quite affordable. You can get the results in the time frame of just 15 minutes. As well as detecting viral nucleic acid, RT-PCR can detect levels of viral nucleic acid that cannot be cultured. This suggests that viral nucleic acid does not necessarily indicate contagiousness.
Antigen and antibody results need to be interpreted within 15-30 minutes. In a few hours, the result will no longer be valid.