COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Questions and Answers

Rapid test device for COVID-19

This post is about MainStreet’s COVID-19 rapid antigen test. All MainStreet clinics have a COVID-19 testing threshold based on the amount of staffing in each clinic. If you have further questions, please email info@mainstreetfamilycare.com. As testing evolves, so will our clinic policies. Please check here for updates before coming to the clinic.

MainStreet Family Care is pleased to now offer a rapid COVID-19 swab test at all of our MainStreet and KidsStreet clinics. This means you can be given a COVID-19 rapid antigen test and receive results before you leave the clinic. As with other forms of COVID-19 testing, we wanted to provide as much information as possible so that you can make the decision that is best for you and the ones you care for.

What is the rapid COVID-19 antigen test?

The rapid antigen COVID-19 test we are offering is an antigen test that uses a nasal swab to collect a sample. This test will tell you if you have antigens for an active COIVD-19 infection. Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens such as nasal swabs. The antigen test sounds like the antibody test, but the antibody test is not the same (the antigen is used to indicates an active infection; while the antibody test helps us see if you had a past infection).  You can read about the antibody test here.

What is the advantage of this rapid antigen COVID-19 test?

Rapid antigen COVID-19 testing allows us to take a nasal swab specimen from you and receive results in less than 20 minutes while you are still in the clinic. The viral COVID-19 test collects a sample in a similar manner, but the viral tests are sent to LabCorp for processing.

How does this change my testing experience as a patient?

We take the swab specimen when you come in–the same way we have for other swab tests. The only difference is that we are able to give you the results before you leave the clinic, instead of the specimen being sent off to a lab and waiting days for the result to come back.

Do I need an appointment?

We do not accept appointments but we ask that patients pre-register online on the day of their appointment.

  • Contactless registration for COVID patients is available here. Please be sure you’re within 15 minutes of the clinic prior to registration.
  • Once registered, you will wait in your vehicle until you receive a text to come into the clinic waiting room.
  • Please learn more about our contactless registration here.
  • Results for rapid antigen COVID-19 tests are provided before you leave the clinic.
  • Once we have tested the maximum number of patients for the day, we will cease COVID-19 testing registration for that day. We will begin again the following day. Registration will begin two hours prior to opening.

Is there a way I can speed up this process?

  • Please read all the information provided here. It will make things easier if you know what to expect.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid form of government ID
  • Expect a wait time. Bring books, magazines, a fully-charged device, and possibly waters and snacks while you wait in your car.

Is this test FDA approved?

Yes. The FDA has made this test available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). You can view the authorization here (https://www.fda.gov/media/137886/download)

Where is the test made?

The test was designed and is manufactured in San Diego, California.

Is it possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative)?

Yes, this is possible, but not likely. If your test result is negative, your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.

How accurate is this antigen test?

The sensitivity for this test is 93.8% & the specificity is 100%. The most common cause for a false negative test would be getting tested too early after exposure.  We do recommend that patients wait at least 24 hours after exposure or developing symptoms before getting tested. False-positive results are extremely, extremely unlikely.

How much does the COVID-19 rapid antigen test cost?

We will submit the cost of the test and your visit to your insurance provider or the HHS Uninsured Patient Program. If for any reason they do not cover it, you will be charged. We recommend you contact your insurance provider to determine the following:

  • If you will be responsible for the cost of the test and discuss the specifics of your plan and your current deductible balance
  • Ask them about a rapid COVID-19 antigen test with FDA Emergency Use Authorization
  • In addition to the test, some insurance companies expect you to pay for the office visit when you get the test along with other tests that may be run at your visit (such as a flu test).

How much does a visit cost with insurance?

If you are uninsured, we will submit the cost of the test and your visit to your insurance provider or the HHS Uninsured Patient Program. If for any reason they do not cover it, you will be charged $125.

How much is the cost if I elect to pay cash for the visit?

$125. This includes the visit and the COVID-19 rapid test.

You can find more information about the costs of testing here.

If you would like to have a COVID-19 rapid antigen test, please read the information on how to get a COVID-19 rapid test at MainStreet Family Care. Appointments are not accepted for COVID-19 testing.