Covid-19 PCR Test
Current infection status test
Need to travel overseas? Looking to return to work? A negative antigen PCR test might be a requirement for both.
Results are returned in 48 hours once the Laboratory receives the sample. A fit to fly or fit to work medical certificate is available for no extra charge when requested. Please advise us in the notes section when booking if you require this.
What is it?
Antigen tests detect viral RNA. This requires taking a swab from the nose and throat and then analysing the specimen in the lab using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). You may see these tests referred to as PCR tests.
They aim to answer: do I carry coronavirus now? If you want to see if you have had covid-19 and developed antibodies, you should take an antibody test.
The chances of detecting virus are highest in the days surrounding the start of symptoms. Ideally samples should be taken from symptomatic individuals between days 1-5 from symptom onset. However, there are many cases when virus can be detected later into the illness. A negative test result is also useful, to tell you that there is no presence of virus on that swab. But please bear in mind that this may be a false negative and isolation guidelines should still be followed. Many institutions use two swabs, 48 hrs apart to confirm a negative case alongside other clinical information.
Should I also take the antibody test?
Our recommendation is to use both the COVID-19 Antibody and PCR COVID-19 clinical testing service. This is the only way to be certain that you have developed an immune response and that the Covid-19 virus has left your body.
You can take an antibody test from 14 days after the onset of your symptoms.