LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Regional Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski says there are three different types of COVID-19 tests available right now: a molecular test, an antigen test and an antibody test.
She says the most reliable test they have to diagnose someone is the molecular test.
“They do a swab or you can collect the swab yourself. There’s some pretty quick tests- about 15 minutes. Some are 45 minutes. Some take a couple of days,” she said.
The next test available, the antigen test, is a newer test and is more reliable than molecular tests, but the number of antigen tests available is very limited right now.
“These are new to the market, but these are the rapid tests. These are good tests as well, but we just don’t have a lot of access to them yet,” Stefanski said.
The third is the antibody test. Dr. Stefanski says many doctors are moving away from these tests and added that antibody tests should never be used to diagnose someone with COVID-19.
“Those unfortunately are not good for diagnosis,” she said. “Someone could test positive, and it could be from another coronavirus like a common cold coronavirus. If you test negative, the timing just might not have been right.”
Stefanski says she recommends taking a molecular test or an antigen test if you need to get tested.