This era is the COVID-19 era. We are well into this era, we have had scares, losses; everything is uncertain. And throughout all this, we have worked on controlling it through lockdowns, SOPs, restrictions of various kinds and what not. Is the worst of it over? We don’t know. 

That is why we still need to stay vigilant and keep our duties and responsibilities consistent. Prevention measures are still important and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. One of these prevention measures is testing. The vaccine is out, yet not everyone has gotten it, for whatever reason. That is why testing is required to go to a lot of places. Whether it be a test done before going to your destination or on-the-spot testing. 

Let’s take a look at the variation of testing.

What kind of tests? [1]

Interesting thing is, because COVID-19 is a unique variation of the virus known as SARS, aka SARS-Cov-2, we don’t know much about it and hence, the testing methods vary and change. The variation of the tests depends upon the accuracy, costing, and age group of the person being tested.

If you want to know whether you have the virus, there are two types of tests: 

  • Molecular testing
  • Antigen testing 

Molecular testing works by identifying genetic material from the virus that may be found in your bodily fluids.

These tests are commonly known as viral RNA tests, PCR tests and nucleic acid tests. You can get these tests done just about anywhere, whether it be a hospital, clinic, or even in the comfort of your own home.

Testing through these methods is usually done by using nasopharyngeal swabs or oropharyngeal swabs. Basically swab samples of your nose or throat, which will contain saliva, mucus or other bodily fluids.

As for results, it depends on the lab doing the testing and their capabilities, but results typically come in around 12-24 hours after the sample is taken.

Here is where people worry. Is the accuracy of these tests good enough? These testing methods are new, false negatives or false positives are possible, so how do you know? Well, the rate of false negatives was actually researched, and it varied depending on the incubation time of the infection within the body. The rate hovered around 20 to 30 percent for false negatives but in some cases climbed to near 100 percent, which is what made this virus so tricky to track.

As for the false-positive rate, the research data showed the rate for this was close to zero. In fact, a majority of the rare false positives that did come up were attributed to contamination of the sample or a mistake in the analysis.

Due to the respiratory properties of Covid, the best way to do a molecular test is to use a nasopharyngeal swab. Other methods such as throat swabs will be less effective.

Antigen Testing

This method of testing is also done through nasal or throat swabs. As for where you can get this testing done, well, same as before, at a doctor’s office or a clinic. And over-the-counter home antigen testing kits have been approved too.

This test works by detecting protein fragments from the virus that may be travelling through your system. This method gets results almost immediately; since detecting protein fragments is easier.

When it comes to antigen testing, there are times when the false negative might occur more than in molecular testing. This is why antigen testing is considered inferior to molecular testing.


Testing varies throughout the board, and subsequently, so does the costing. Tests can range from a few dollars to over hundreds of dollars. A lot of it depends on how much insurance handles

If it is a worry to you, then asking about costing and insurance before the test is important and could potentially save you a lot of money.


In the era of Covid, we must all remain vigilant about the way we interact with other people. There are many ways to test for Covid, some reliable, some less so. Either way, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs are essential items when it comes to Covid testing. If you are looking for such swabs, you can get them now from us.


[1] R. H. Shmerling, MD, 5th Jan 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 9th Nov 2021].

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