Cases of COVID-19 in North Florida continue to rise fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. Data issued by the Florida Department of Health on August 13 show an increase in infections and positivity rate for the eighth consecutive week [view data by county here]. Testing for COVID-19 is a crucial step toward stemming the transmission of the virus throughout our community.
Why is Testing So Important?
Testing for COVID-19 allows those who test positive to quarantine so that they don’t transmit the disease to others. It also enables contact tracing – identifying people who may have come in contact with an infected person. This is something that is especially important when so many people are asymptomatic and unwittingly spreading the virus. It’s important to note that even fully vaccinated people may pass the virus along to others, so they should be tested when exposed to someone who has had a positive result for COVID-19.
Routine testing by schools and businesses can also be a proactive approach to preventing and reducing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Who should get tested?
The CDC recommends that the following people get tested for COVID-19 infection:
- Anyone with signs or symptoms such as fever, cough, body aches, and shortness of breath
- People who have had close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19
- Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they couldn’t socially distance
- People who have been asked or required to get tested
What is the Difference Between Tests?
- PCR Test: This test detects genetic material of the virus and requires lab analysis, which may take a couple of days. The benefit of the PCR test is that is can detect the virus within days of infection, even in people with no symptoms.
- Rapid Antigen Test: This is an on-the-spot screening test that detects proteins in the virus and delivers results in minutes. The antigen test is intended for people who have symptoms or are aware that they were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Need a Test?
MedOne Urgent Care Saint Augustine performs both PCR and Antigen testing. PCR test samples will be sent to a lab for processing with results available the next day (except weekends). Rapid Antigen test samples will be analyzed on-site with results available in minutes. Learn more about our COVID-19 testing services here.