Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing
Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing Now Available
Avance Care is one of the only medical offices in the Triangle region offering the new Sofia 2 Rapid Antigen Testing. Rapid antigen testing can deliver results in a 5 – 45 minutes for individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection. The test should only be used for people showing symptoms of COVID-19 because it is not accurate enough in individuals who don’t have symptoms. This test is different from an antibody testing, which detects the body’s immune response to the virus.
What you should know about this test:
We want you to know that this test is done differently than the COVID-19 PCR test we send out to a lab to be run. While our test has received an OK from the FDA to use in an office setting, the recommendation is to only test individuals who definitely have symptoms of COVID-19 — symptoms like fever, headache, runny nose, cough, aching. The test is not accurate for patients who don’t have symptoms. A negative test is not helpful in telling you whether you may be infected with COVID-19 if you don’t have symptoms.
Commonly Asked Questions
FAQ about the Sofia2 COVID-19 Antigen Test (Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA; Quidel Corporation)
I am having surgery next week and I need a COVID-19 test. Can I have the Sofia 2 test?
This test is not recommended for use in patients who do not have symptoms, so we do not recommend this test to screen individuals prior to surgery.
I am a healthcare worker, a first responder or an essential worker. My employer wants me to have a COVID-19 test every month even though I don’t have symptoms. Can I get a Sofia 2 test?
This test is not recommended for use in people with no symptoms. Healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers are groups of individuals for which the test should NOT be used for screening (testing with no symptoms).
What kind of test is the Sofia 2 test?
Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA uses a Fluorescent Immunoassay – bits of the protein or “Antigen” of the virus react with a chemical and are detected by a counter top analyzer in the office.
How is that different than the test you send out?
The other type of test is called a “molecular” or “PCR” test. Molecules of the virus are amplified (copied) in a chemical reaction and then detected by an analyzer in a lab. Since many copies of the virus are made with the PCR test, the PCR test is much more sensitive.
My child is going to college and needs a COVID-19 test for admission, can my child get the rapid test?
No, This test is not recommended for use in people who do not have symptoms, so we do not recommend this test to screen individuals for school or college admission.
I really want the rapid test. What if I tell you I have symptoms and I don’t?
If you are infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms, you probably don’t have many virus particles present in your nose. However, you could still infect someone else and make them very sick. This test is not recommended for use in people who do not have symptoms because it is not reliable enough when there are only a few virus particles present.
What if I have mild symptoms and the antigen test is negative?
If you have mild symptoms of a viral illness and the COVID-19 antigen test is done, you’ll be asked to follow this guidance. If your symptoms continue or get worse in 48 hours, you’ll return for a PCR test to see if COVID-19 is now detectable.
What if my provider is pretty sure I have COVID-19 and the antigen test is negative?
If your provider strongly suspects you have COVID-19 but the Sofia 2 Antigen test is negative, you will have testing with the PCR test the same day and follow this guidance. The PCR test will be sent to the lab. We will let you know the expected turn-around time.
If my Sofia 2 test is positive, can I be sure I have COVID-19?
False positive tests can occur and are more likely in populations where the prevalence of COVID-19 is low.
Will my testing be reported to the Health Department?
Per an order on July 7 from the NC DHHS, all positive and negative COVID-19 tests must be reported to the State Health Director.