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As COVID-19 continues to spread in the midst of Americans trying to get back to their normal lives, testing is more important than ever. In addition to wearing a mask, washing your hands, and limiting face-to-face interactions, testing for COVID-19 is an important tool in stopping the spread. 

COVID-19 produces a wide range of symptoms that vary from person to person. Some may need to be hospitalized, some may experience symptoms similar to the common cold or seasonal allergies, and some may experience no symptoms at all. 

Even if you feel completely healthy, it’s important to get tested if you feel you may have been exposed to a sick person or if you plan on traveling or visiting someone vulnerable.

There are two types of tests regarding COVID-19 testing in Lubbock, diagnostic tests and antibody tests. A diagnostic test shows if you have an active infection while an antibody test shows if you have antibodies in your immune system following an infection. If you take a diagnostic test that comes up positive, you should quarantine yourself as well as inform others that you’ve been around recently.

There are two types of tests used to determine if you have coronavirus. Both of these require a nasal or throat swab to collect cells that may contain the virus. The test is daunting to many, as it’s pretty uncomfortable depending on your pain tolerance. However, it only takes a maximum of ten seconds. Testing for COVID-19 is extremely important to public health.

PCR Testing

The first, and most common, is a molecular test referred to as the PCR test. A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab, similar to a Q-tip, into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose to get a sample of the fluid in your body. The swab is interested high up into your nasal cavity, higher than you can reach with your finger. The nasal swab is then swirled around a few times for accuracy. 

It’s common for your eyes to water during the test. In fact, it’s how a lot of doctors and nurses know that they’ve inserted it up high enough. You may also feel the urge to sneeze. However, remaining still and breathing through your mouth is crucial to successfully obtaining a sample and ensuring that the test is over as quickly as possible. 

In some cases, a long swab is inserted into the back of your throat or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample, but these are less commonly available.

After getting swabbed, most people get their results back in 1-2 days, but the high demand for tests can sometimes delay your result by several more days. 

Rapid Testing

Antigen testing is most often referred to as rapid testing, and these samples are obtained the same way as a PCR test. However, a rapid test can deliver your results in as little as just a few minutes. 

For the Abbott rapid test, the nasal swab is then swirled onto a sample card treated with a testing reagent. The card reacts to the sample, and if the coronavirus is detected, two lines will appear within 15 minutes.

Rapid tests are becoming more and more popular as society tries to get back to normal. The movie industry requires that all cast and crew members get a rapid test at the beginning of the workday to ensure that everyone on set is healthy, especially since those in front of the camera can’t wear masks. Some bars and parties are also taking advantage of rapid tests so that guests can enjoy themselves without worrying.  

Where to Get COVID-19 Testing in Lubbock

While they were scarce at the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 testing is now available through public health services, drug stores, and doctor’s offices. Even in a smaller city like Lubbock, testing can be easily found. 

 COVID testing near Lubbock can be done whether or not you have health insurance, and many government-run testing centers do it for free. Lubbock COVID-19 testing locations can be searched here. 

Prior to your test, it’s important to call the testing center to see if you need an appointment. Many locations are walk-in only, but some require appointments. Many locations are walk-up testing locations, but some require that you stay in your car and wait for a doctor or nurse to come to your window to administer the test. Make sure you and everyone accompanying you are wearing masks in case your test ends up being positive.

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