Information About Your Test Results
Have you gotten a COVID-19 nasal swab or antibody test but aren’t sure what the results mean? Click on the following buttons to learn more about your test results:
Types Of Tests
Not sure what test you need. The Nasal Swab test will determine if you have an active infection, while the Antibody test checks if you’ve been exposed or infected in the past. All of our tests are FDA-authorized with 99% accuracy. Learn more about them below:
Other COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
We are currently offering 2 types of tests:
- Antibody Tests
- Rapid Antibody Test: Small Sample of Blood from a Finger Poke (Results in 15 minutes)
- Lab Based Antibody Test: 1 Vial of Blood Drawn from the Arm, Results in 24-48 hours, Most Accurate
Antibody tests look for antibodies in your blood which can indicate past or present infection of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Antibodies are proteins that help your body fight off infections and usually provide protection against getting that disease again hence developing an immunity. Antibodies are specific to a particular disease. For example, a measles antibody will protect a person who is exposed again to measles but will not offer protection of any kind if the person is exposed to mumps.
Depending on when someone was infected and when the antibody testing occurs, the test may not show antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. Antibody testing should not be used to diagnose active COVID-19 infection.
- Molecular (PCR) Test
- Collected onsite and sent out to participating laboratory
- Results: Currently 7-10 days (due to high demand)
PCR testing is performed with a nasopharyngeal swab. This tests for ACTIVE infection and detects viral genetic material (RNA). It is considered accurate however, results are not immediately available. As of July 10, turnaround time for results can vary from 2 to 5 Days but have gone up to as high as 10 days. If you have symptoms, and antibody tests are negative, you should consider a PCR test.
For our most accurate Antibody test, which is sent to Quest, we send a single vial of blood to the lab. We often recommend patients go directly to Quest for the blood draw after their consultation with a Valley Urgent Care Medical Provider, who will order the test. Our clinic is currently experiencing a very high volume of calls and patient visits, so going directly to Quest could save you time. This is only for Antibody testing. All Nasal Swab PCR Tests must be done at our clinic. Due to the time it takes to transport blood back and forth from our satellite clinics, your result will be available within 24-48 hours. You will receive a call notifying you of your test results and any further instructions, so please make sure we have an accurate telephone number for you on file before leaving the clinic.
We are unable to diagnose COVID-19 based solely on antibody test results. Patients that are currently experiencing symptoms or that have seen a Valley Urgent Care provider will be encouraged to have PCR molecular nasal swab testing.
What are the COVID symptoms I should look for?
- COVID-19 symptoms* include the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
*This does not include all possible symptoms. We will update as information becomes available from the CDC.
Most insurances currently cover all consultations and tests related to Covid-19, including the Antibody and PCR Nasal Swab Tests. Furthermore, most insurances are waiving ALL copays, deductibles and any other patient responsibility for Antibody visits, treatment, or testing. In addition, an office visit is required, which will be filed with those that have active insurance coverage. Consequently, for most individuals, there should be zero out of pocket cost.
We do not take appointments in advance for Covid-19 Testing but rather schedule individuals on a same day basis. To reserve a spot for that day, please call us early in the morning starting at 8 am as the number of tests we can provide each day is limited and it’s a first come first serve policy.
Our clinic is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday.
Given the high volume of patients we are seeing, you must call first thing in the morning to request a consultation for the same day. We see patients on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you call in the morning, you may not be seen until the afternoon as we may have already scheduled 20 to 30 patients ahead of you.
It’s crucial that you complete the electronic registration to save your spot and to answer your phone so we can inform you that you are ready to be seen by our Provider.
You should be tested immediately if you start experiencing any symptoms. It can take anywhere between 5-21 days for someone to become infected once exposed. We recommend waiting 3-5 days before having the nasal swab test performed and at least 14 days before being tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
As of July 10, 2020 the turnaround time for results can vary from 2 to 5 Days but have gone up to as high as 10 days. You can call our staff to get updated turnaround times. The blood test for COVID-19 antibodies takes 24-48 hours to result. We are NOT offering a 10-15 minute rapid test at this time due to issues with their accuracy.
A negative test result with this test means that SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies were not present in the specimen above the limit of detection. However, a negative result does not rule out COVID-19 and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment, patient management decisions, or to rule out active infection.
Patients tested early after infection may not have detectable IgM antibody despite active infection; in addition, not all patients will develop a detectable IgM and/or IgG response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The absolute sensitivity of the qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid test is unknown.
*Negative IgM – IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus. When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection. If you have a negative IgM antibody test but start to develop symptoms, it is recommended that you return to the clinic for a nasal swab test, as this the most accurate way of diagnosing COVID.
*Negative IgG – IgG antibodies develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against reinfection, so it is recommended that you follow all social distancing guidelines and where a mask when in close contact with people.
A negative PCR nasal swab result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness. This test result is merely a snapshot of the time in which you were swabbed. If you had additional COVID exposures or have developed symptoms after the date your swab was collected, it is recommended that you return to the clinic for repeat testing.
Yes, Valley Urgent Care does nasal swab collections and specimens are sent out for testing. The average turnaround time for results is 2 to 5 days. Valley Urgent Care can provide employees with a return to work note upon request with additional instructions regarding isolation guidelines, however see below info from Los Angeles Public Health.
Below is the Los Angeles Public Health Guidance for Employers Responding to Covid-19 in the Workplace. We suggest you print this document to present to your employer regarding a work note for your positive COVID test: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/business/GuidanceWorkplaceResponse.pdf
During the pandemic, employees who meet the above criteria for returning to work should NOT be required by employers to provide a healthcare provider’s note to return to work.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued guidance, stating that while employers “may require employees who have been away from the workplace during a pandemic to provide a doctor’s note certifying fitness to return to work,” it is not recommended to do so.
The EEOC & the CDC advise that, practically speaking, doctors and other healthcare providers may be too busy to provide such documentation, so employers should consider allowing these employees to return to work as they see fit.
Because of this, the CDC does not recommend that employers require their employees to provide communication from a physician or healthcare provider, “clearing,” them to return to work.
- We have set up a screening station for patients outside of the office in order to limit any exposure to our staff and other patients, in the event someone is showing signs of active Covid-19 infection.
- We offer paperless electronic check-in to avoid having to pass documents, insurance cards, and IDs back and forth.
- If a visit such as ordering a Covid-19 test can be completed using an online telemedicine visit, we will use this method rather than having you come into the clinic.
- We are currently offering Drive Up testing so patients do not have to come inside the clinic.
- At any given time we will use a maximum of two exam rooms and allow only two patients to be inside the clinic.
- All patients are asked to wait in their car to minimize contact to staff and other patients.
- We are thoroughly and regularly cleaning all surfaces in common areas and reception desks throughout the day with hospital grade disinfectant.
- Rooms are sanitized between each patient.
- Our waiting room has been closed and frequently touched items have been removed from waiting and patient exam rooms.
- Tape marks have been placed on the floor to provide for recommended social distancing.
- Valley Urgent Care team members are provided with personal protective equipment as recommended by the CDC and OSHA.
- Our nightly cleaning crew utilizes hospital-grade disinfectant to wipe down all surfaces.
- Interior doors are being propped open to minimize the need for hand to surface contact.