Prime Urgent Care is committed to providing COVID-19 testing for patients in the Pearland, TX area. Here is pertinent information about COVID-19 testing. During your visit with our Provider, they can also guide you to the correct type of test for you and answer any additional questions you may have.
Insurance companies are no longer waiving visit fees for COVID visits. Patients may not have to pay for the test but do have to pay for the visit. Please note we will be collecting copays and deductibles for COVID visits.
What are the types of COVID-19 tests?
COVID-19 can be detected either via serologic tests, which is done using a blood sample, or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that involves taking a nasopharyngeal swab sample. Both look for different indicators to reflect a past or current infection.
Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing or the exposure that you have had, the following are the types of tests we offer at Prime Urgent Care:
- Antibody test – The immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody test is useful to rule out any exposure that you may have had in the past few weeks to months. Done via a simple blood sample, results can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 day, depending on the facilities of the lab. These tests are also known as serological tests as they detect any antibodies that the body’s immune system has produced in response to an infection. It is important to keep in mind that this test only looks for and detects antibodies, which means that it cannot detect the presence of a current infection.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test – This test detects the genetic information of the virus. It is also known as RT-PCR, LAMP test, molecular diagnostic test among others. In most cases, the sample is collected via a nasal or throat swab, and in some via a saliva sample. This is said to be the most accurate of the tests; however, it can only detect current infections. Depending on the lab facilities, the results are ready anywhere between a day and 7 days. This test is considered to be the most accurate.
- Rapid antigen test – Unlike the antibody test, this test looks for the presence of antigens. Antigens or the viral RNA are a good marker to indicate the presence of the virus even in the early stages. While this test can be easily scaled to the mass population, the results are not always very accurate. These tests are performed by collecting nasal or throat swab samples and the results are returned back very quickly (within the hour). Also known as a rapid diagnostic test, these tests look for viral proteins in the body. These tests are also the most used when a community spread is suspected. However, the rates of false negative results are quite high. In the event of a negative rapid antigen result, a RT-PCR test is done to ensure the rapid test is not falsely negative.
Saliva samples can also be taken as an alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs specimens.
What are the considerations for who should get tested?
As a rule of a thumb, even if you are asymptomatic, a test will need to be done if you have:
- interacted with anyone (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) who has gone on to test positive for the virus
- had any recent travel – both domestic and international
- attended any large gathering
Beyond this, understanding when to get a test done will depend on the symptoms that you are experiencing. However, with several of the symptoms closely resembling those of a common cold, cough, or flu, it can be confusing. Our Providers at Prime Urgent Care can help guide you to the correct test based on your symptoms and/or type of exposure and answer any additional questions during your appointment.
We recommend contacting the medical care providers at Prime Urgent Care if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- dry cough
- loss of taste, smell, speech or movement
- shortness of breath
- pain in the chest
- persistently high temperature
- joint pains
- redness in the eyes
Additionally, those above the ages of 60 and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, heart ailments, cancer, and lung disorders automatically fall under a high-risk bracket.
How do I get Covid-19 testing at Prime Urgent Care?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call Prime Urgent Care at 713-340-3111 or go online to www.primeuc.com to schedule an in office or telemedicine visit.
In order to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all patients and staff:
- Adult patients are not permitted to bring other family members in for their visit unless there is a mobility or neurological indication for assistance.
- One parent/guardian is permitted to be in the office with a pediatric patient.
- For any sick visit and/or covid testing, you will be asked to wait in your car until a room is available.
What will the results tell me?
Results of covid testing must be interpreted in the appropriate context of symptoms of illness and exposure. This is why an office visit is required for covid testing.
A positive result typically indicates an acute illness in the appropriate context. A negative result must also be interpreted based on the context of the visit, symptoms, and exposure. In the case of a negative antigen test result (also known as a rapid test), it should be followed up with a PCR test.
If you have strongly suggestive symptoms yet test negative, follow it up with a consultation with your medical care provider and possibly repeat testing.
How will I be treated if I test positive?
Positive results with mild to moderate illness is typically treated supportively with cough medication as needed, anti-pyretics, rest, and fluids.
Patients with moderate to severe illness may require additional treatment and will likely be referred to the emergency room for evaluation and admission. Detailed instructions are discussed with patients who have positive test results.
What is the process of recovery like?
In the case of a mild to moderate illness, most patients recover within 2 weeks of symptom onset. Patients with moderate to severe illness can have a longer recovery period that may last weeks to months.
Most patients will be able to recover at home and are advised to have regular follow up with their physician.
How can I get a COVID-19 antibody test or a diagnostic test?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or suspect an exposure, call your medical care provider at Prime Urgent Care at 713-340-3111. Your physician will begin with a teleconsultation to check for the specifics of your condition before deciding on the test that you need to take.
How much does it cost to get tested for coronavirus disease?
In order to make the tests accessible to each and everyone, the costs of the tests have been kept very nominal. If you have insurance , please call us at 713-340-3111 for details.