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Houston Health- Types of Covid Tests

Getting tested is the only way to know if you have COVID 19, so you can take action to protect those around you from getting sick. There are two primary types of tests, and here's an overview of both. Tests conducted in laboratories commonly called PCR are the gold standard. These typically involve a sample taken from your nose and are conducted at doctor's offices, pharmacies and testing sites. The test providers send your sample to a laboratory for processing, which is why results can take a few days. These tests are highly accurate, even if you don't have symptoms. The other main type of test is typically called a rapid or antigen test. These are often at home tests where you collect your own sample from your nose and get results in 15 to 30 minutes. These results are very accurate for people with symptoms, but less accurate for people without symptoms. If you get a positive rapid test, you may want to follow up with a PCR test. Remember, if you haven't yet been vaccinated against COVID 19, avoid the drama and get closer to normal by getting vaccinated as soon as possible. Free Houston Health Department vaccination clinics accept walk-ins and are located across the city. Find a nearby site at or by calling 832-393-4220.