Where COVID-19 Antigen Tests Are Used?
Antigen tests are offered to some:
- hospital patients who have symptoms of COVID-19, including people who attend an emergency department (ED)
- people in an environment with a COVID-19 outbreak
What happens during the test?
- The tester will give you a mask to wear, explain what will happen, and ask you some questions.
- You will be asked to use a hand sanitizer to wash your hands properly.
- The evaluator will take some personal information from you, including your phone number. Make sure they have the correct number for you.
- The tester will use a swab to take a sample from your nose. This may be uncomfortable, but it won’t be painful.
- The tester will test a sample on-site.
If your antigen test result is positive
If your result is positive (COVID-19 found), you will be informed within 1 hour of your test. This means that the virus was detected in your sample. You will need to isolate yourself. This is because there is a high risk that you can pass the virus on to other people.
If your antigen test result is negative or invalid
If your result is negative, it means that the virus was not found in your sample. Sometimes an antigen test cannot give a positive or negative result. This is called an “invalid result.” If your antigen test result is negative or invalid, we will send a second sample to a lab for a COVID-19 PCR test.
If the second test is positive
You will receive a text message with your COVID-19 PCR test result. If the result is positive, you will receive a phone call from a contact tracker.
Limitations of the COVID-19 Antigen Test
No test is 100% accurate. All tests have limitations. The antigen test is less accurate than the COVID-19 PCR test. The test will detect the virus in most people with symptoms. But in some cases, it may not detect that you have the virus. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, tell a healthcare worker right away.