COVID-19 Point of Care Tests: Results In Minutes

They are excellent at moving procedures along and really push their labs and external services to expedite samples or specimens in order to provide the quickest possible result.
—Mobile Health Client

With delays for lab results from molecular PCR COVID-19 tests sometimes stretching to a week or more, COVID-19 Point of Care antigen tests can provide an antidote. That’s the point of Point of Care: providing real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results.

Several antigen tests designed for rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19 have received emergency use approval (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Mobile Health offers COVID-19 Point of Care antigen testing, in addition to COVID-19 temperature screening, molecular PCR tests, and antibody tests.

The chief benefit of antigen tests is their ability to deliver rapid results, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes. In comparison, laboratory results from COVID-19 PCR tests may a few days.

The antigen test is a good screening test for asymptomatic individuals. However, the antigen test is not as reliable as the PCR test, as it is more likely to miss an active Coronavirus infection. The FDA recommends a follow-up PCR test if an antigen test shows a negative result in someone with COVID-19 symptoms. Also, a positive antigen test result in an asymptomatic individual should be confirmed with a PCR test.

Mobile Health recently deployed a COVID-19 Point of Care testing team to a trio of Long Island, NY day camps.

First for FDA EUA

Mobile Health uses the Quidel® Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA test for COVID-19 Point of Care testing. The first antigen test to receive FDA EUA during the pandemic, the Quidel test detects proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

To administer this antigen test, a trained technician collects a nasal respiratory sample using a short sterile swab.  This specimen is combined with viral transport media and then transferred to a cassette. The cassette is inserted into the Quidel processor, which produces results in 15 minutes.

What’s Ahead

Antigen tests play a critical role in the COVID-19 fight due to their simple design, rapid results, and scalability. Also, they generally cost less than PCR and other COVID-19 tests. These factors make antigen tests better able to identify infection rates closer to real-time.

Mobile Health is exploring the use of a second and similar antigen test. The BD (Becton Dickinson) Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 was the second antigen test to receive FDA EUA. Other rapid result antigen tests on the horizon include a paper-based test jointly developed by 3M and MIT.

Schedule COVID-19 POC Testing

To learn more about COVID-19 Point of Care antigen testing or to schedule an onsite testing event, contact Mobile Health today. We have a 35-year history of providing clinic-based and worksite occupational health screenings. These services include tuberculosis tests, Respirator Fit Tests, and workplace flu clinics. Our mobile Point of Care testing teams can deploy immediately, anywhere in the United States.