Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: antigen tests and antibody tests.
An Antigen Rapid Test checks samples to find out if you are currently infected with COVID-19.
The cost for this test is $75 and is available at; Sinks Pharmacy in Vienna, Belle, St Clair and Sullivan, Medley Pharmacy in Owensville, Steelville Drug, and Towne Pharmacy. It is also available at Sinks Select, located at 1024 S. Bishop in Rolla.
If you test positive, know what protective steps to take if you are sick. Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you have questions about your health.
If you test negative, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. This does not mean you will not get sick:
- A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that your sample was collected too early in your infection.
- You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.
- If you have symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The cost for this test is $50 and is available at all of our locations.
Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). Antibodies are disease specific. For example, measles antibodies will protect you from getting measles if you are exposed to it again, but they won’t protect you from getting mumps if you are exposed to mumps. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection, except in instances in which viral testing is delayed. An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies.
This blood test checks for immunoglobulin G (IgG) that shows a recent or past exposure to COVID-19. Antibody testing is supported by the FDA with a focus on these points:
- IgM antibodies: Reflects the active presence of COVID-19 and can last up to 4 weeks
- IgG antibodies: The body is building/built immunity to COVID-19 and lasts for more than 50 days
This test could be helpful if you:
- Had a positive COVID-19 test and it has been at least 20 days since your test was positive
- Were exposed to COVID-19 24 or more days ago
Frequently Asked Questions
How does COVID-19 spread?
- The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).
- It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
- These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.
Can someone test negative and later test positive on a viral test for COVID-19?
Yes, it is possible. You may test negative if the sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during this illness. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and get infected then. Even if you test negative, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others.
What should I do if I get sick or someone in my house gets sick?
Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
- Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and learn when to seek emergency medical attention.
When should I Seek Emergency Medical Attention
If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
For more frequently asked questions, visit the CDC's website by clicking here