What to expect when getting an RT-PCR COVID test

There are several ways that you can get tested for the coronavirus—at home, at your doctor’s office, or with brands like ours. Today, we’re going to discuss what you can expect when receiving an RT-PCR test in a clinical setting, including the standard service that we provide.

Before the test

Before getting tested, confirm that a negative RT-PCR will, in fact, fulfill the requirements that you’re seeking to satisfy—school, work, close contact with an infected companion, a doctor’s recommendation, and travel are five of the most common reasons to get tested, aside from people getting tested in response to new symptomatology.

Give your doctor or local Covid Clinic a call to get started—you’ll be able to explain your concerns or situation and be directed to the appropriate channels in order to proceed. Of course, there are walk-up testing sites in operation in many cities; in a pinch, you’re completely free to utilize these resources.

Our advice, though? An appointment is always the way to go when you’ve got the time to coordinate it. What matters more than anything is that you’re getting tested at all. What can you expect when the big day finally comes?

During your appointment

When it’s time to obtain a specimen, you can expect either a nasopharyngeal swab, a mid-turbinate swab, or an anterior nares swab. Your provider may alternatively ask you to simply spit into a small tube instead.

A sputum sample might also be taken if you’re experiencing an exceptionally strong cough, which is a specimen of phlegm coughed up from the deepest parts of the lungs.

In either case, a PCR test detects non-human DNA from the coronavirus, including fragments of the viral unit still capable of infecting healthy cells.

In its aftermath

In a general sense, you can expect your RT-PCR test results back in several days, up to a weeks’ time.

If being examined on-site, this time may end up being significantly shorter, but your own waiting time may vary. We can always recommend scheduling your test as far in advance as possible if you have an important deadline to meet.

If you test positively, you’re likely dealing with an active COVID-19 infection. A negative result indicates that you were not likely infected at the time that your specimen was taken.

While false negatives and positives are always a risk, you have little to worry about if you’ve chosen an RT-PCR COVID test. They’re the gold standard for a reason—they’ve been shown to detect 99% of both positives and negatives in a clinical setting.

One and done: what next?

If your PCR test came back negative, you should be in the clear. Some prefer a second test to confirm results in either direction; it’s not necessarily a requirement, however, especially if you’re just getting tested to be on the safe side.

Like we said, RT-PCR tests are considered to be the most accurate and foolproof choice, which is why we recommend them to the majority of our patrons.

For many, all that’s left to do after the results are in is to proceed accordingly. Self-isolation, vaccination, or even just a couple of days resting at home may be just what the doctor order

Still have questions?

Gone are the days of crowded waiting rooms, daunting hospitals, and cold exam tables. At Rume, we offer care on your terms, where and when you need it, including telemedicine, drive thrus, and popups. You’ll get quick results and trusted insights.