If you are on this blog post, you are wondering “what is a PCR test?” As a reminder, America Homecare is now offering COVID-19 tests via drive-thru, group/corporate, or at-home testing.
PCR stands for a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction. It is also called a molecular test. The test detects genetic material of the virus. A fluid sample is gathered by a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) and taking another sample from the back of your nose with a shorter swab (mid-turbinate swab).
In some cases, a long swab is inserted into the back of your throat (oropharyngeal swab), or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. Results may be available in minutes if analyzed onsite or a few days. This may be longer in locations with test processing delays or if sent to an outside lab. PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a health care professional, but the rapid test can miss some cases.
There is also a special PCR test called Flu SC2 Multiplex Assay. This test can detect any of three viruses at the same time: coronavirus (COVID-19), influenza A, and influenza B (flu).