The wait for “no more waiting” is over.

Antigen-based rapid COVID tests are now available at our Burtonsville location, providing results in just minutes, instead of multiple days.

Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins found on the surface of the coronavirus, instead of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which look for viral genetic material.

PCR set the standard. While slower to process, they are highly accurate and never need to be repeated. Previous rapid COVID test contenders required confirmation via a molecular test (swab) in the event of a negative result. While swift to provide results, they could not definitively rule out active COVID-19 infection.

An antigen-based test developed by Quidel Corporation, however, has demonstrated a 96.7% sensitivity – on par with PCR tests – when conducted within 5 days of the onset of patient symptoms. In addition to providing on-the-spot confirmation, the Quidel Sofia SARS Antigen FIA test does not require molecular confirmation.

Antigen-based tests are also cheaper to manufacturer, which could help to foster widespread availability and allow the nation to test millions of additional Americans each day and detect infections sooner.

Quality First Urgent Care is pleased to announce that we are now offering rapid COVID tests. Our team uses Quidel Sofia equipment and is providing drive-through testing at the Burtonsville location.

Our facilities are also offering a molecular point-of-care test known as the Abbot ID NOW, which implements a swab and has been shown to detect COVID-19 in 13 minutes or less. The portable ID NOW (the unit is about the size of a toaster) received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March and has been approved to be used in settings outside of hospitals. This test is often required by the airline industry, and we are happy to provide this test for those who have plans for air travel.

The Quality First Urgent Care team can test multiple people in one car, with most vehicles in and out of line in 10 minutes or less. Text #COVID19 to 37373 and choose one of our 3 locations and preregister to get tested.